Friday, May 29, 2009

Letting War Criminals Walk . . .

and letting their mind-sets prevail.

Just a quick comment.

At work yesterday, I fought off sleep listening to NPR's Intelligence Squared. (Don't hit the link, please, until you hear me out.) It was an Oxford-style debate on the question:
Resolved: Is Diplomacy With Iran Going Nowhere?

For the Affirmative: Liz Cheney & Daniel Senor

Against the Motion: Nicholas Burns & Kenneth M. Pollack
Burns and Pollack did a sub-par performance, IMO, defending Obama's 'new way forward' policy. I was on pins and needles waiting in vain for two shoes to be dropped or thrown.

The Shoes?
  • Before you can ask if 'diplomacy is working' you have to ask 'what diplomacy'? There are no diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington. Is it not patently clear that the proper question is:
    What will it take to open diplomatic relations with Tehran and Washington?
    If one does not recognize a government diplomatically, that is tantamount to denying the legitimacy of that government. Until you recognize a government by opening an embassy, you cannot be considered to be carrying on diplomacy with it.

  • Instead of establishing diplomatic relations with Tehran, the participants assumed the only appropriate goal of any negotiations with Tehran had to do with nuclear proliferation. Wrong and inverted priority, IMO. Non-Proliferation is a critically important goal in American foreign policy, I concede. But, theoretically and legally speaking, Iran has as much a right to possess nukes as does Israel. No one in the room wanted to take U.S. military options off the table; in fact everyone affirmed quite the contrary. Therefore, I conclude the Busheney doctrine of preventive war was still ensconced in the highest strata of America's foreign policy thinking.

  • Thirdly, Liz Cheney's feckless review of Iranian-American non-diplomatic relations was allowed to stand. Artistically, she omitted the 1953 CIA called Operation Ajax, conducted from the US Embassy in Tehran, which organized a coup to overthrow Moussadeq. This has poisoned the well in U.S. - Iranian relations.

  • But finally, and most outrageously: at the beginning of the debate, the Moderator publicly acknowledged the presence of former Vice-President Cheney. There was applause. There was no booing. No shouts of "War Criminal".
At the end of this civil debate, I turned off my radio in disgust. The civility of this debate convinced me more than anything else: the additional photos from Abu Ghraib need to be released. The world, including my fellow Americans, need to see what Busheney have wrought.

If the perps get to walk, they should not be allowed to walk in peace.

24 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Jack Jodell said...

I'm with you 100%, Vigilante. IF Cheney and his war criminal cabinet all walk, they should be hounded mercilessly all the rest of the days of their lives. Or, we should just develop a relentless set of new war criminal hunters for this Iraq War, similar to Nazi war criminal hunters like the late Simon Wiesenthal. Justice MUST prevail!

5/29/2009 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Petrosexual said...

Cheney made us safe for 8 years.

5/29/2009 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I think it was more the Atlantic Ocean, better airport security, and good old fashioned police work.

5/29/2009 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jack Jodell said...

Cheney didn't make us safe at all. Quite the contrary. He and Bush ignored warnings prior to 9/11 and were asleep at the wheel on that date. And that administration's unrelated and illegal invasion of Iraq, use of torture, and exploitation of Iraq for corporate profit have all served as major recruiting tools for radical Islamist extremists, the effects of which are yet to come, and they surely WILL come! The full extent of Cheney's and Bush's disastrous actions are yet to be measured, but they will prove to be terrible. They merely poured gas on the flame, that's all. Wait and see.

5/29/2009 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger George W Bush said...

I think the verdict is out. I think people are waiting to see what all this means.

5/29/2009 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

LOL, Shrub!

5/30/2009 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

I have to agree with what Governor Ventura said recently as to why the Democrats are not pursuing criminal investigations on torture.

I believer he was on Olbermann and said that the Demo's knew about the torture but with spines being a rare commodity back then after 9/11 they didn't want to seem weak on national security.

Now I figure the ever morally upright and anal repub's are telling the Democrats that if they push this too far they will bring them down as well.

In the end it doesn't really matter cause I believe the truth will at least seep out, you can't keep such toxic crap contained but the question is will the greater mass of Americans actively seeking reality and court show oblivion give a damn?

5/30/2009 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Soros' Proxy said...

I just want to re-connect a couple of dots:

The episode in US-Iranian relations pertaining to the CIA's ouster of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq and the installation of the Shah cannot be ignored. Cheney may think she could ignore it because Americans think of it as ancient history. But it's still as relevant as ever. The Islamic revolutions of the ayatollahs constituted the blowback from this interference in Iranian politics. USA's continued non-recognition of the Tehran government implies to Iranians that Washington has still not abandoned regime change aspirations. Entirely.

5/30/2009 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

As if Cheney's unmolested public appearances weren't enough! This also makes me ill: Clinton and Bush Share Stage — and Mutual Admiration. No true Progressive can retain any esteem for Bubba Clinton, a true political whore.

Are you listening, Mad Mike?

5/30/2009 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jack Jodell said...

Great points, guys. BB, the Dems have indeed been spineless and may well be guilty of going along for the ride out of weakness. That is not good.
-----
SP, the CIA's (far right Secretary of State John Foster Dulles', actually) illegal 1953 coup in Iraq is a major contributor to our unpopularity in the entire Middle East, even to this day. And the Cheney/Bush illegal intervention in Iraq is just a repition of the same old American mistake. When we selfishly infringe on the soveeignty of others, it always blows up in our face.
-----
Vigilante, you are dead-on about Bill Clinton. He wasn't the progressive we all hoped he would be. His positions on free trade and his chumminess with W and Daddy have been most disturbing!

5/30/2009 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Jack, here's another headline.
Bill and George Show helps rehabilitate Bush.
Excuse me. I have to go now... and puke.

5/30/2009 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Soros' Proxy said...

Reinforcing my previous comment above:

Jane Harman, Democratic Congresswopman, currently goes further than regime change. She wants to partition Iran!

5/31/2009 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Jane Harman is an AIPAC Princess!

5/31/2009 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger AdB said...

the additional photos from Abu Ghraib need to be released.or at the very least, keep these pics in circulation:


More snaps from Abu Ghraib

Some of the 60 previously unpublished photographs that the US Government has been fighting to keep secret in a court case with the American Civil Liberties Union.

5/31/2009 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger MadMike said...

Former presidents regularly get together for various humanitarian functions. It is a time for burying hatchets not sharpening sabers. Vigil, my friend, the fact is that you have hated Bill Clinton for at least as long as I have known you. This is just an opportunity to take a shot.

As to comparing Cheney and his gang to Nazi war criminals...there is no comparison. You want real, eye popping, toenail pulling torture then read the carefully documented accounts of interrogations by the Gestapo and the SS. You would be lucky if all they did was "waterboard" you.

Sorry Beach but, in my humble opinion, Jesse Ventura is a blowhard. It doesn't surprise me that he was elected as governor of Minnesota, because they seem to breed these nuts. I have heard Ventura raw and unplugged on the Howard Stern Show several times. He contradicts himself, lies, and tries so hard to be an intellectual it is embarrassing and laughable. I salute him for his service to the country as a U.S. Navy SEAL, along with thousands of others, but when it comes to politics and policy he needs to go back to wrestling.

Finally I agree that Bush and Company did little to keep us safe, although there were a few amateurish plots uncovered. The only reason there hasn't been a MAJOR terrorist attack on the United States since 9/11 is because the terrorists aren't ready. Time is on their side.

6/01/2009 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Say what you want about Jesse the body. He's right about torture and he's right about this. The Dems were unquestionably briefed on the bulk of this garbage and said nothing. Just like the Beach Bum said, they didn't want to seem weak on terror and so they gave Mr. George Bush a blank check on Iraq and voted 99-1 for the Patriot Act. Not much of a record to be proud of - either party.

6/01/2009 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Will Hart, I cannot believe my good friend Mad Mike, was really engaged in critical thinking when he referred to George Bush as just another "former president". He is a war criminal of the first water. This is not the time to bury hachets. I do not hate or despise Bubba; I really don't care one way or another about 3rd rate whores. I do care about war criminals, and will so as long as I have to share oxygen with them.

6/01/2009 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I'm definitely for a truth commision and trials, if necessary. I just think that a lot of the hand-ringing on the left could eventually make for some interesting hypocrisy down the road.

6/01/2009 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Oh, did you guys see the Mancow water-boarding simulation? This guy is as right wing as they get and HE said that it was absolutely torture. Now, if we could only get Sean Hannity and Mr. Cheney to lay back and absorb a couple of pitchers.

6/01/2009 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

Vigilante - A truly excellent discussion, as always.

I must say that in this discussion I agree completely with MadMike. Mike, your analysis was genuinely inspired.

6/01/2009 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

analysis? There's nothing analytic about Mike's love for Bill Clinton. Anal maybe, but not analytic.

6/02/2009 04:14:00 AM  
Blogger Boris said...

Vigilante, Bush isn't a former president. Cheney is the former president.

6/02/2009 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Soros' Proxy said...

My quote of the day comes from Arianna Huffington:

Cheney's ongoing Forget Everything I Ever Told You Tour is historical revisionism at its most despicable.

6/03/2009 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger MadMike said...

George Bush was a feckless and incompetent fool but he was not a war criminal. The United States has enough to worry about without wasting valuable time debating whether water boarding mass murderers was really torture. I have said it before and I will say it again:

The wide-eyed liberals and puffed up progressives need to put this into perspective. If you know that a terrorist attack is imminent and you know that the dirt bag sitting in front of you possesses information that can save the lives of millions, including your family, you won't stop at waterboarding. You will take out the SS Field Manual of Interview and Interrogation and go to town. It is one thing to look at the world through rose colored glasses. It is entirely another to see it without clothes.

6/03/2009 01:03:00 PM  

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