American Elephants


Liz Cheney takes on the “torture” controversy and Norah McDonald as well, and wins. by The Elephant's Child

Liz Cheney, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, and Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter, is here interviewed on MSNBC, on the interrogation memos and the question of “torture.” Norah McDonald gives a wonderful example of media bias. She can’t quite believe that anyone would have the gall to disagree with President Obama. For an example of disagreeing with a president, see “Afterburner“, a video we posted earlier. Hilarious.



The West Coast Plot and “criminal prosecutions:” A study in political inexperience. by The Elephant's Child

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“The Obama administration is confused.” writes Stephen Hayes in the Weekly Standard.

The president says harsh interrogation techniques “do not make us safer,” but his top intelligence adviser says the same techniques produced “high-value information” that gave the U.S. government “a deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization that was attacking this country.

Obama White House officials routinely boast that theirs is “the most transparent administration in history,” but then they release Justice Department memos about the interrogations in which the assessments confirming the value of those techniques are blacked out.

Attorney General Eric Holder tells a congressional committee that he is unaware of memos about the information gleaned in harsh interrogations that have been requested by former Vice President Dick Cheney, but his boss, the president, not only knows about those memos but also describes their contents to members of Congress.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the administration could support an independent investigation of interrogation techniques based on the 9/11 Commission.  Then he says that Obama decided long ago that such an investigation would be too political.

In the National Journal Stuart Taylor Jr. says “The review should start by taking seriously the views of the people with the most-detailed knowledge.  They say that the coercive interrogation program was highly effective.

Michael Hayden, Bush’s last CIA director and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey recently wrote, “As late as 2006, fully half of the government’s knowledge about the structure and activities of al Qaeda came from those interrogations.” Former CIA Director George Tenent has said,”I know that this program has saved lives.  I know we’ve disrupted plots.  I know this program is worth more than [what] the FBI, the [CIA], and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.” Former National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell has said, “We have people walking around in this country that are alive today because this process happened.”

Marc Thiessen notes that: Specifically, interrogation with enhanced techniques “led to the discovery of a KSM plot, the ‘Second Wave,’

to use East Asian East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into a building in Los Angeles.” KSM later acknowledged before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay that the target was the Library Tower, the tallest building on the West Coast.  The memo explains that “information obtained from KSM also led to  the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemmah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the ‘Second Wave’.”In other words, without enhanced interrogations, there could be a hole in the ground in Los Angeles to match the one in New York.

“Admiral Dennis Blair, the top intelligence official in the United States” says Stephen Hayes,

believes that the coercive interrogation methods outlawed by his boss produced “high-value information” and gave the U.S. government “a deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization that was attacking this country.” He included those assessments in a letter distributed inside the intelligence community last Thursday, the same day Obama declassified and released portions of Justice Department memos setting out guidelines for those interrogations.

That letter from Blair served as the basis for a public statement that his office put out that same day.  But the DNI’s conclusions about the results of coercive interrogations — in effect, that they worked — were taken out of Blair’s public statement. …

The letter included this language: “From 2002 through 2006 when the use of these techniques ended, the leadership of the CIA repeatedly reported their activities both to Executive Branch policy makers and to members of Congress and received permission granted by “members of Congress” — permission that came from members of Obama’s own party.

Dick Cheney: “This is the first time that I can recall that we’ve had an administration come in, take power, and then suggest using the power of the government against their predecessors, from a legal standpoint.  Criminal prosecution of lawyers in the Justice Department whose opinions they disagreed with on an impor”crimitant issue.  Criminal prosecutions.  When was the last time that happened?”

Porter J. Goss, former CIA director: “Since leaving my post as CIA director almost three years ago, I have remained largely silent on the public stage. I am speaking out now because I feel our government has crossed the red line between properly protecting our national security and trying to gain partisan political advantage.  We can’t have a secret intelligence service if we keep giving away all the secrets.”

It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.  In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.

The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.

  • We understood what the CIA was doing.
  • We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.
  • We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.
  • On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.

Should the winner of a  presidential election attempt to use the enormous powers of his office to investigate and prosecute his political adversaries? Will this begin a cycle of retribution in which policy disputes are to be criminalized?   And will this tear the country apart?



American voters think that Obama damages national security. by The Elephant's Child
April 25, 2009, 12:59 am
Filed under: National Security, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

A new Rasmussen survey suggests that the Democrats have overreached with their obsessive interest in the waterboarding of the terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  Voters are just unimpressed with the “torture” theme.

58 percent of voters say that the Obama administration’s release of Department of Justice memos “endangers the national security of the United States.”  Less than half as many think that it “helps America’s image abroad.”

70 percent say that America’s legal system either does a good job of weighing security needs against individual rights, or that it puts too much emphasis on individual rights at the expense of national security.  Only a bare 21 percent say that the legal system is “too concerned about protecting national security.

58 percent said that the Obama administration should not investigate the Bush administration on interrogations, while only 28 percent wanted investigations.  Only 22 percent of independents wanted investigations.  Even democrats, by a tiny margin felt that the release damaged national security.  Independents by an overwhelming majority believe Obama damaged national security — 65 percent to 23 percent.

Americans in every demographic are more inclined to believe that the legal system worries way too much about individual rights rather than national security.

This may suggest that Obama’s apology tour may not have been especially well-received.

Obama’s decision to close Guantanamo Bay is now disapproved of by a 46 to 36 margin, with declining support for Obama’s actions.



Here come the Uighurs, we just don’t know where yet. by The Elephant's Child
April 25, 2009, 12:19 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , ,

After the Inauguration, President Obama was very anxious to appear to “hit the ground running.”  He hastened to sign all sorts of Executive Orders to undo whatever George Bush did. Believing that one reason for anti-Americanism in the world, was international disapproval  of our detention center at Guantanamo Bay, he ordered Guantanamo to be closed within a year.  Unfortunately, he had no idea what to do with the detainees.

We have released many of the detainees, those who were thought to be less dangerous.  It has been widely stated that those who are left are the “worst of the worst.”  Aside from the fulminations of the human rights crowd, and the not very believable claims of the detainees themselves through their court-assigned lawyers; there have been many visitors to the detention center who describe the place as a model prison run with extreme care for the rights of the detainees.

The Uighurs are Chinese Muslim jihadists, trained in explosives and assassination tactics, and anxious enough to be trained that they traveled from China to Afghanistan to become more effectively lethal.  They were trained by Abdul Haq, a member of al Qaeda’s inner circle.  They were sent to Guantanamo in 2002 after being captured in Pakistan.  Some former U.S. officials have said that government information indicates that the Uighurs may pose a danger if released.  Other officials and human rights organizations insist they pose no threat to Americans.

They cannot be returned to China; they oppose the Chinese government, and presumably the Chinese government returns the favor.  The position of “detainee” is apparently incomprehensible.  (The idea is to keep them from returning to jihadism and killing Americans).

Guantanamo Bay was chosen and developed as the best possible solution to a difficult problem, after a great deal of searching and study.   I find the administration’s exquisitely delicate feelings for the opinions of European journalists a little hard to stomach.

The Uighurs are to be released in this country, probably in Virginia suburbs where some Uighur immigrants from China have settled.  The thought is that they should be near others who speak their language and understand their customs.  I don’t know if anyone has asked the immigrants if they want the detainees.

This is now Obama’s problem, and his risk.



This is a strange, strange moment in time. by The Elephant's Child

There are times when it seems as if we have slipped into an alternate universe.  The President of the United States, after an appearance on a late night comedy show,  has gone campaigning.  His campaign organization, Organizing for America, is  collecting signatures on pledges to support Obama’s budget.  Is there something a little strange about ginning-up support for a budget by accosting clueless people on the street or in malls?

The Two-Minute Hate Program managed to rouse numerous people across America to deliver death threats to employees of the AIG financial group.  Never mind that the employees who did the dirty deeds are long gone, and the remaining folk have agreed to stay on to help wind things down only because they were offered a contractual retention bonus to help out.  They were demonized by members of the House of Representatives who devised a special (unconstitutional) retroactive 90% tax on their perfectly legal retention bonuses totaling $165 million, while ignoring the $5 billion in bailout money that the company has already received — that the Democrats hoped no one would notice.  And if that wasn’t enough, ACORN organized bus tours to “look at” the homes of AIG executives.

Since the last CBO budget review in January, Democrats have passed laws that increase spending by $134 billion in the last six months of this fiscal year alone, and $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years — before we have seen the President’s 2010 budget proposals — the ones the volunteers are collecting signature support for.

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a plan to set up a new “volunteer corpsand consider whether a “workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people” should be developed.  The legislation refers to “uniforms” that would be worn by the “volunteers” and the “need” for a “public service academy, a 4-year institution” to “focus on training” future “public sector leaders” The training would occur at “campuses.” (h/t protein wisdom) There is just something special about “mandatory volunteerism.” Last year Obama spoke of his “National Civilian Security Force” in which he supported creating an organization  as big and as well-funded as the military.

Liberals believe in their good intentions.  Conservatives care about the consequences.  Who is going to do the volunteering that has formed the backbone of America when you have a paid “mandatory volunteer” uniformed army?

“The Obama administration will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation,” according to the New York Times. The administration could seek to put the changes into effect through regulations rather than through legislation. ( Such a bore, having to vote on things).  Is there the slightest evidence, anywhere, that anyone in Washington has even the slightest clue about what is in the financial interest of a business enterprise, or what causes positive corporate performance?

Democrats are trying to abolish the rights of workers to secret ballots in unionization elections.  The secret ballot is workers’ protection to insure that they are not intimidated into voting for a union that they might otherwise not choose. Last year, Mexico’s highest court unanimously affirmed for Mexicans the right that Democrats want to take from Americans.  Banning the secret ballot in America!

The U.S. Constitution says that treaties, like NAFTA, are the “supreme law of the land.”  With the approval of a president who supposedly taught Constitutional Law, Congress has shredded the North American Free Trade Agreement.  They used the omnibus spending bill to abolish a program that would comply with our obligation to allow Mexican long-haul trucks on U.S. roads.

Mexico, in retaliation, has resorted to tariffs on many U.S. goods, which should send a Smoot-Hawley chill down American backs.

The Democrat Congress is voting to ignore the Constitution’s stipulation that the House shall be composed of members chosen “by the people of the several states,” and is pretending that the District of Columbia is a state.

China has suggested that the dollar should no longer be the world’s reserve currency.  Two long-range Russian bombers buzzed the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis at 500 feet when it was in international waters.   Russia spun the notion that they might base their bombers in Cuba, last week.  The Chinese started harassing an unarmed US Navy exploration vessel, requiring the US to send armed escorts into the international waters of the South China Sea.  North Korea is about to launch an ICBM with a range that reportedly could easily include American territory.

And to finish up the week, Obama appeared on 60 Minutes.  Among other questions in the interview Kroft brought up Dick Cheney’s criticism of closing Guantanamo Bay. Obama said:

After all these years, how many convictions came out of Guantanamo?  How many terrorists have actually been brought to justice under the philosophy that is being promoted by Vice President Cheney?  It hasn’t made us safer.

As John Hawkins said “If Obama believes that the purpose of Gitmo is to get “convictions” of terrorists, you have to question whether he has even the most basic understanding of the war on terror he ‘s currently in charge of fighting.”

Guantanamo is there to hold captured terrorists, to keep them from killing more Americans, and for interrogations that are designed to gain information to keep them from killing more Americans.  Obama seems to think they should be tried in a criminal court.  And released in the US, as the administration may do with some terrorists who cannot be returned to their native country.

We have indeed slipped the bounds of Earth and entered some strange alternate world.  We must have.



The Audacity of “Hitting the Ground Running” by The Elephant's Child

A President of the United States has many new lessons to learn as he takes office. Every word that he utters in public is analyzed by governments all over the world for clues to the inner man, and to the American character and intentions.

Observers often wondered why George W. Bush seemed to speak in short bursts, and often mangled words; yet in informal conversation he spoke easily and eloquently. He may have mangled words —’ misunderestimated’ comes quickly to mind — but there were no verbal gaffes.  Mr. Bush was well aware that his words would be closely analyzed, and he spoke with great care, if in short bursts.

Observers particularly watch for signs of weakness.  Suddenly North Korea is testing new longer range missiles, and has broken off talks with South Korea, and is doing some saber rattling.  Kyrgyzstan has begun moves to close a U.S. military air base in the former Soviet republic, which is vital for U.S. led troops fighting in Afghanistan, after securing Russian financial aid  promises of more than $2 billion in credit and aid — equal to about half of Kyrgyzstan’s gross domestic product.

Protesters are marching in Vladivostok and Moscow as the Russian economy implodes.  There are repeated reports of trouble in China.  The financial crisis is not just in this country.

The Obama campaign apparently commenced negotiations with Iran and  Syria long before American voters went to the polls, in violation of Federal Law and simple propriety.  The chief Iranian spokesman, Gholam-Hossein Elham, responded to Obama’s public peace feelers with contempt:  “This request means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed.” Iran is working on long range missiles, as well as what they insist is simple nuclear power. A good percentage of the population of Iran is pro-democracy and pro-American, and opposed to their government.  Iran has just launched its first satellite into space.

Anti-trade provisions in the stimulus bill have antagonized most of our trade partners with “buy American” provisions.  Those provisions were demanded by the Unions who supported Obama so heavily in the past election and by protectionist members of Congress.  Canada and the EU have warned that such a trade policy in the middle of a global economic downturn could ignite a trade war; and that such policies were disastrous in the Great Depression.  Obama is trying to change the wording.

The Times of India has noticed that Obama has already issued 17 exceptions to his no-lobbyists position for White House hires.  The Telegraph in London notes that the “Sheen Already Coming Off Obama’s Presidency.”

Obama has had a very bad first two weeks.  He needs to realize that the campaign is over.  It’s time to stop blaming Bush, and face up like a man to the fact that what happens now is on his plate.  He has duties now, not to his campaign supporters, but directly to the American people.

That’s what that oath he took was all about.



Dangerous misconceptions, enacted in a dangerous rush. by The Elephant's Child
January 23, 2009, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Military, Politics, Progressivism, Terrorism | Tags: ,

Obama remains in full campaign mode.  He promised to undo all the executive orders that George W. Bush signed, in his first day of office.

A week ago, former Vice President Cheney advised the incoming president  to go slowly, look carefully at the policies and institutions that the Bush administration had put in place to protect the American people, before rushing to follow through on his campaign promises to dismantle them.   President-elect Obama said on ABC’s This Week “I think that was pretty good advice, which is I should know what’s going on before we make judgments and that we shouldn’t be making judgments on the basis of incomplete information or campaign rhetoric.”

He has ordered tough new ethics rules, while his Commerce nominee has bowed out due to ethical problems, his attorney general was instrumental in pardoning a felon on the FBIs most wanted list  and pardoning Puerto Rican terrorist murderers.  His Treasury nominee, who will head the IRS,  cannot explain his tax-cheating.  His nominee for energy czar wiped clean the computers and e-mails of the EPA in direct defiance of  judicial orders, and is an official member of Socialist International.

Obama has immediately begun dismantling  executive orders, without understanding why they were made. He has ordered the Guantanamo detention center closed within a year.   He has no idea what to do with Guantanamo detainees, and has ordered the military to figure it out, without understanding that all the careful development of the detainee center in Guantanamo was in response to the complicated consequences of possible alternates.

The CIA program Obama is effectively shutting down is the reason why America has not been attacked again after 9/11.  He has removed the tool that stopped al Qaeda from flying planes into Heathrow Airport, the Library Tower in Los Angeles, London’s Canary Wharf, blowing up apartment buildings in Chicago and disrupted many, many other attacks.

Now another Guantanamo detainee, who was released in 2007 to go through rehabilitation training in Saudi Arabia, apparently flunked, for he has reemerged as a deputy al Qaeda leader in Yemen.  When he was a prisoner at Guantanamo, he claimed to be an innocent carpet buyer who was learning about urban carpet buying warfare in an al Qaeda training camp south of Kabul, Afghanistan.  Foreigners learn enough about the political correctness afflicting America  to appeal to human rights activists, who then lobby for their release.

There are those in our country, who in spite of all evidence, insist on believing the worst about America.

But now that a “progressive” is in charge, patriotism is suddenly fashionable again.  Go figure.



I’ll bet you didn’t know this about Sarah Palin! by The Elephant's Child

Sarah Palin has always been a runner.  She says that her parents were marathoners, and coached high school track, so it was a family affair.  She is still trying to get back to her old routine of running 7 to 10 miles every day according to the Wall Street Journal, but since giving birth she is only running 3 miles every other day.

Governor Palin is also the Commander-in Chief of the Alaska National Guard, something she shares with other governors.  However Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system.  The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard is on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units.

Nearly 250 Alaska Guardsmen came from all over the country to serve in the 49th Missile Defense Battalion. Getting into the program is not easy, and passing the extensive training required is tough.  Applicants go through nine to 14 weeks of air defense training at Fort Bliss, Texas; a nine-week Ground Missile Defense operator course in Colorado Springs; then four more weeks of unit training in Colorado Springs before taking a certification test.

Major Joe Miley, the operations officer, explains that on order, they would fire an interceptor at the incoming missile in midcourse phase, which would destroy the target before it reentered the atmosphere.  Stationed at Fort Greely, about 150 miles southeast of Fairbanks, it’s a tough place to live and logistically support.  Winter temperatures, for example, can drop to 75 degrees below zero.

In the last 20 years, more countries are actually having intercontinental ballistic missiles, the number has increased from six nations to more than 20.  And the number of test launches has increased every year.  Training is continuous to keep skills sharp.  This is serious national defense.

Alaskan governors deal with a lot more national and international security issues than most do.  There is a lot of military in Alaska.  Sarah is briefed on highly classified security measures, homeland security and counterterrorism.  Russia is only a few miles away, and interested in claiming all of the Arctic for its energy reserves.  She also negotiated a pipeline deal with Canada.  And they were saying about her inexperience…

Our Sarah Palin has pretty sharp skills as well.



Lalalala, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you… by The Elephant's Child

In June 2001, seven years ago, President Bush said, in proposing his energy plan: “Energy has enormous implications for our economy, our environment and our national security.” “We cannot let another year go by without addressing these issues together in a comprehensive and balanced package.” The plan included, among other things:

♦ New drilling for oil and gas, and new refineries.

♦ Building nuclear power plants.

♦ Revamping the U.S. electricity grid.

♦$10 billion in tax breaks to push energy efficiency and alternative energy.

Just what economists, oil experts and energy experts say needs to be done to alleviate the current crisis. To devise the plan, Vice President Cheney met with industry executives to find out what was needed and what could be done. Mr. Cheney, as former CEO of an oilfield services company had some familiarity with the oil industry. And do you remember what happened?

Democrats in Congress had a hissy fit.

They demanded to know just who was invited to these meetings. They demanded minutes of the meetings. What was he doing meeting with oil executives? Outrage!

The administration gently pointed out the Constitutional separation of powers, the fact that the administration does not report to Congress, and that the powers of each branch of government are delineated in the Constitution to which they swore allegiance. And besides, it was none of their business. Many Democrats are still simmering over what they conceive, in their delusion, to be some vast conspiracy.

Energy bill didn’t pass.

Didn’t pass in 2001,

Didn’t pass in 2002, nor in 2003.

And Nancy Pelosi is trying to blame “a failed energy policy by the Bush/Cheney, two oilmen in the White House.” She called activities in Congress “the dance of the hand-maidens of the oil companies”. She said “Free our oil.” meaning open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve which contains a 33 day supply of oil in case of real national emergency.”

She said “But while we’re spending all of this time on a parliamentary tactic when nothing less is at stake than the planet, the air we breathe, our children breathe.”

Then she went on a book tour.



Democrats’ Iraq Disaster by American Elephant

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi

Democrats oppose the war in Iraq. We all know that…now.

They were for it — when it was going well — when it was popular. But when the going got tough, as it always does in war, Democrats saw an opportunity — Democrats got going.

They campaigned in ’06 promising to change direction in Iraq. They refused to say what that new direction would be, but when they won, they nevertheless claimed a mandate to pull out of Iraq.

The problem that has arisen for Democrats since then is that America has changed course in Iraq — things have gotten dramatically better on the ground, Iraqis are joining with America to fight terrorists and insurgents alike, Iraqis who had fled are returning in droves, and violence of all kinds has dropped exponentially.

In other words, thanks to President Bush and General Petraeus, the man Democrats smeared as a liar and betrayer of the nation, we are winning! And Democrats have fought that victory kicking and screaming every step of the way.

Now the Democrats are pinning all their hopes on the heretofore “lack of political reconciliation” in Iraq. (This from the party that has blocked desperately needed energy policy, social security, healthcare and other reforms for seven years.)  But the idea that America should leave an increasingly peaceful Iraq to descend into chaos, dragging the greater middle east with it because Iraqi politicians are guilty of being not even as viciously partisan as Democrats, will never fly with the American people. Nor should it.

I have little doubt now that Iraqi leaders will work out their differences. Not simply because reports suggest that that is precisely what is going on behind the scenes, but because they must. The Iraqi people have shown by joining the fight, that they will not accept anything less.

The fact is that Democrats have completely boxed themselves in.

They have proven with their opportunistic vacillating that they are unfit to command the nation’s defenses. National security requires strength and resolve. Democrats have exposed themselves as weak and untrustworthy.

They long ago declared the increasingly successful war, “lost”. They have since done nearly everything in their power to bring about that result. They branded the highly successful surge a “failure”.

President Bush and Republicans are on the way to turning an avowed enemy of the United States with the capability to produce and disperse WMD into a moderate democracy and ally to America.

Democrats will never be able to claim any responsibility for success in Iraq — they are long past the point of no return on that flip-flop. And most importantly, the American people will hold them responsible for trying their best to scuttle it.

“Kharma” is coming for the Democrats, and it’s not happy.



Terrorists Target Army Base — in Arizona by American Elephant
November 28, 2007, 4:14 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Foreign Policy | Tags: , ,

fort huachuca

Frightening story from the Washington Times:

Fort Huachuca, the nation’s largest intelligence-training center, changed security measures in May after being warned that Islamist terrorists, with the aid of Mexican drug cartels, were planning an attack on the facility.

Fort officials changed security measures after sources warned that possibly 60 Afghan and Iraqi terrorists were to be smuggled into the U.S. through underground tunnels with high-powered weapons to attack the Arizona Army base, according to multiple confidential law enforcement documents obtained by The Washington Times.

A portion of the operatives were in the United States, with the remainder not yet in the United States,” according to one of the documents, an FBI advisory that was distributed to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA, Customs and Border Protection and the Justice Department, among several other law enforcement agencies throughout the nation… [read the whole thing]

So now we know terrorists are indeed entering the country through the pourous Mexican border with the intent to kill Americans.

Um, can we secure the border now?



Top Democrat Blasts Democrat Party Over Partisan-Driven Foreign Policy by American Elephant

Senator Joe Lieberman

Says Democrats are betraying principles, poisoning politics, and undermining America’s interests for partisan gain.

The man the Democrat party so respected and admired that they made him their Vice-Presidential nominee just a few short years ago, has leveled a scathing rebuke at the Democrat party for abandoning the principles of Truman, Roosevelt and Kennedy, betraying America’s interests and poisoning the American political atmosphere for political gain. He has blasted the Democrat base for their hate-driven “paranoia…delusion and deception.”…

In other words Senator Lieberman (who was overwhelmingly re-elected by his home state of Connecticut despite an attempt by radical leftists to throw him out) has admitted what all Republicans and thinking-independents have known for a long time — Democrats intentionally changed their position on Iraq for partisan gain when the going got tough and have since done everything in their power to undermine the war effort and tear apart the country for their own political gain:

“Since retaking Congress in November 2006, the top foreign policy priority of the Democratic Party has not been to expand the size of our military for the war on terror or to strengthen our democracy promotion efforts in the Middle East or to prevail in Afghanistan. It has been to pull our troops out of Iraq, to abandon the democratically-elected government there, and to hand a defeat to President Bush.

Iraq has become the singular litmus test for Democratic candidates. No Democratic presidential primary candidate today speaks of America’s moral or strategic responsibility to stand with the Iraqi people against the totalitarian forces of radical Islam, or of the consequences of handing a victory in Iraq to Al Qaeda and Iran. And if they did, their campaign would be as unsuccessful as mine was in 2006. Even as evidence has mounted that General Petraeus’ new counterinsurgency strategy is succeeding, Democrats have remained emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq, reluctant to acknowledge the progress we are now achieving, or even that that progress has enabled us to begin drawing down our troops there.

Part of the explanation for this, I think, comes back to ideology. For all of our efforts in the 1990s to rehabilitate a strong Democratic foreign policy tradition, anti-war sentiment remains the dominant galvanizing force among a significant segment of the Democratic base.

But another reason for the Democratic flip-flop on foreign policy over the past few years is less substantive. For many Democrats, the guiding conviction in foreign policy isn’t pacifism or isolationism—it is distrust and disdain of Republicans in general, and President Bush in particular.

In this regard, the Democratic foreign policy worldview has become defined by the same reflexive, blind opposition to the President that defined Republicans in the 1990s – even when it means repudiating the very principles and policies that Democrats as a party have stood for, at our best and strongest…

First, several left-wing blogs seized upon the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, offering wild conspiracy theories about how it could be used to authorize the use of military force against Iran.

These were absurd arguments. The text of our amendment contained nothing—nothing—that could be construed as a green light for an attack on Iran. To claim that it did was an act of delusion or deception.

On the contrary, by calling for tougher sanctions on Iran, the intention of our amendment was to offer an alternative to war.

Nonetheless, the conspiracy theories started to spread. Although the Senate passed our amendment, 76-22, several Democrats, including some of the Democratic presidential candidates, soon began attacking it — and Senator Clinton, who voted for the amendment. In fact, some of the very same Democrats who had cosponsored the legislation in the spring, urging the designation of the IRGC, began denouncing our amendment for doing the exact same thing…

there is something profoundly wrong—something that should trouble all of us—when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran’s murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops.

There is likewise something profoundly wrong when we see candidates who are willing to pander to this politically paranoid, hyper-partisan sentiment in the Democratic base—even if it sends a message of weakness and division to the Iranian regime.

For me, this episode reinforces how far the Democratic Party of 2007 has strayed from the Democratic Party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and the Clinton-Gore administration.

That is why I call myself an Independent Democrat today. It is because my foreign policy convictions are the convictions that have traditionally animated the Democratic Party—but they exist in me today independent of the current Democratic Party, which has largely repudiated them.” [read more] Continue reading




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