Saturday, February 24, 2007


Facts of War, editorial, Albany Times Union - Leading Senate Democrats, then the minority but now the majority, are ready to repeal that resolution of unrestricted support for the war. They would declare instead that the mission of the U.S. troops in Iraq does not include interceding in a civil war, which is precisely what now engulfs Iraq.

Juan Cole on Tony Blair, Basra - Blair is not leaving Basra because the British mission has been accomplished. He is leaving because he has concluded that it cannot be, and that if he tries any further it will completely sink the Labor Party, perhaps for decades to come.

Newsweek - The Petraeus plan will have U.S. forces deployed in Iraq for years to come. Does anybody running for president realize that? - The British are leaving, the Iraqis are failing and the Americans are staying—and we’re going to be there a lot longer than anyone in Washington is acknowledging right now. As Democrats and Republicans back home try to outdo each other with quick-fix plans for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and funds, what few people seem to have noticed is that Gen. David Petraeus’s new “surge” plan is committing U.S. troops, day by day, to a much deeper and longer-term role in policing Iraq than since the earliest days of the U.S. occupation.

James Fallows: The Prospect of War on Iran - "...there is a deeper strangeness that I worry about at 2 a.m. Am I guilty of projecting my own assumptions about rationality onto the Administration? [..] Am I the irrational one here, in assuming others’ rationality? I hope not — and I still think not. But just in case I’m wrong, the Congress should get moving and pass that “no funds for war with Iran” measure without delay."

Carter Says Majority in U.S. Support Views in Book / Reuters - Asked what he had learned from reaction to the book, [former President Jimmy Carter] said he was surprised at the ``intensity of feeling and genuine concern that some American Jewish citizens have when anyone questions the current policies of the ... Israeli government. [..] "I can understand the reasons ... that any shaking of almost unanimous support in America for Israel might weaken Israel's position ... as they struggle for their own safety and their own existence,'' he said. [..] The book's main points were that Israel should stop persecuting and abusing Palestinians, withdraw to internationally-recognized borders and conduct intense negotiations with its neighbors to bring peace, Carter said. [..] "Those premises, which are the major premises in my book, have a strong support of American citizens," including many Jews, he said. He added that he guessed the majority of Jews in Israel also agreed with the book's proposals.

The Reason For Reason
by Expatriated Texan
"Freedom is worth nothing if such limitations are placed upon it as to render it soul-less."
As far as I can tell, there is one, and only one, far reaching difference between basing your belief upon an Enlightened faith and basing it upon the secular writings of an Enlightened academic - faith reaches, or puports to reach, beyond this world. David Hume, for example, or JS Mill, will tell us what is good for this world. But they go no further than what they can see. [..] Liberals in America have hobbled themselves because they have half-understood and half-embraced the meaning of the Enlightenment. [..] Go to link to read the entire piece.

True forgiveness can bring about inner peace, author says - “The only anger I feel is toward my country — lies we have been told, the incidents that are hidden until years later … only to find that we were manipulated.” She said she felt anger toward herself because she let things take place without objecting. She said she felt betrayed and bitter as a speech teacher who has helped many students deliver idealistic speeches about an American democracy. Yet her own deep reading revealed a nation of power through manipulation. “I got to the point that I thought, ‘Don’t tell me about this free country, don’t tell me it is the greatest land in the world,’ ” adding that the same patterns can be found in other countries and throughout history. Eileen Borris-Dunchunstang [author of “Finding Forgiveness” - McGraw Hill, $21.95] said such distrust and bitterness leads to a separation of people, yet sharing such stories of anger leads to common ground and understanding.

Lincoln's Antiwar Record - Political Theory Daily Review asks: Looking for a model lawmaker who called a President to account for launching a war on fabricated grounds? Consider The Nation, Eric Foner on Lincoln's antiwar record.