Thursday, March 11, 2010

Biden's Successful Diplomacy, Gates Plan To Isolate Iran, Goodbye Mr Rush

Dana Milbank
Matt Latimer
Michael Young

"Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid is in trouble again for saying it's really good news that America only lost 36,000 jobs in February. Well, think how happy he'll be when November comes and he loses his job." – Jay Leno

"And I love this. Radio host Rush Limbaugh says he will leave the United States if health care reform passes. Well, if that doesn't get the Democrats to rally, nothing will." – Jay Leno
"David Letterman spent ten minutes making fun of Rahm Emanuel last night. This kind of stuff just doesn't happen." - Rush Limbaugh

Top Ten Signs Rahm Emanuel Is Nuts

10. Every morning he takes a leak off the Truman balcony
9. President Obama smokes cigarettes; Rahm eats them
8. Spotted today at Toyota dealership
7. He's leaving Obama to become a special adviser to Richard Nixon
6. In a fit of rage, he snapped Dennis Kucinich in half
5. Changing his name to Rahm Emanuel Lewis
4. Refers to every Cabinet official as 'Clarkie'
3. Recently got into a heated policy debate with his stapler
2. You mean, besides walking around D.C. naked?
1. Even Andy Dick is telling him to chill

Boy, I hate getting half of a story, clearly missing the best part. Yesterday I wrote about the dueling press conferences between Robert Gates and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Kabul. Maybe our world leaders all have the travel bug, because even Hamid Karzai left to go shmooze with leaders in Pakistan shortly after Mahmoud went back home. Karzai is trying to get Pakistani help in starting dialogues with the Taliban. Pakistan wants better links because it doesn't want Karzai to forge s relationship with India. And India suddenly realizes this and will now send ambassadors to Afghanistan. So it goes.

I have also not been sufficiently paranoid because I didn't think about the theory floating around that Gates, Karzai, and Ahmadinejad had actually all secretly met together for some kind of negotiations on the future of Afghanistan. Gates even commented on it before he left: "Asked for his reaction to Mr. Ahmadinejad’s visit so close to his own, Mr. Gates at first said that “it’s clearly fodder for conspiratorialists... We think Afghanistan should have good relations with all of its neighbors, but we also want all of Afghanistan’s neighbors to play an up-front game in dealing with the government of Afghanistan.” If Ahmadinejad were a saner person, a meeting of this kind could have been beneficial... Iran and Afghanistan share a lot of borderland that serves as a smuggling route, both for al-Qaeda and for drugs. Based on their mutual co-operation in capturing Abdulmalik Rigi, Asia Times notes: "Iran wants to extend this multilateral cooperation to the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking. This would involve closer cooperation with the United States and foreign troops in Afghanistan, and therein lies the problem..."

Gates then flew to Saudi Arabia, to for private talks about the plans forming to isolate Iran if it starts getting belligerent. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Gen. David H. Petraeus, who oversees the United States Central Command, all had previously made the rounds, so we know that something important is up. We already have agreements with Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait to put in anti-missile systems to go with a possible naval blockade. Negotiations with the Saudis are to help keep a US presence in the region after we withdraw troops from Iraq.

The best way to de-escalate the situation with Iran may be to accept their claims and are being honest about wanting nuclear plants to produce energy. We have the capacity to tell if they are weaponizing, and if we worked more intimately with the International Atomic Energy Committee in monitoring their programs, we might get more information with honey than the fly-swatter. Iran doesn't have enough uranium to do what it wants right now. If they build more reactors they are going to have to get more somewhere, as well as upgrade the US built centrifuges they have now. Also, with the unrest after their last election, Iran doesn't have much credibility with its neighbors and poses less of a threat than it ever has in the past.

The reactions to Joe Biden's trip to Israel, and how he handled being blindsided is a good lesson in diplomacy. He was able to express support for Israel and also show concern for Palestinian interests with his condemnation of the announced housing units to be built in East Jerusalem. He got a standing ovation in Tel Aviv for his honesty and compassion for the situation, with pundits asking if he could be the catalyst to get talks back on the productive path, something everyone has been giving lip service but nobody being brave enough to lead in action. Even though it's clear that the Israelis are going to have to create a Palestinian state, and the details should begin to be hammered out, Joe ended his speech with a touch of world weary precaution:  “I can’t tell you that peace will come easily,” said the vice president. “You know better.” But right now there is a lot more optimism than before he arrived...

It used to be a popular refrain back in the sixties and seventies "If so-and-so gets elected, I'm leaving the country!" Then, Nixon, or Reagan, or Carter got elected, and the person never really left, just stayed around and groused.

Now, Rush Limbaugh has announced that "If health care reform passes, I'm leaving the country!" Well, don't let the door hit your butt on your way out... If Rush does leave and tries to broadcast from outside of the country like Wolfman Jack did with XERB in Mexico, would he then be considered a pirate radioteer, and we would have the FCC jam him and put out a warrant for his treasonous ass? Just asking...

While I am in a wondering mood, there are accusations floating around that our own James Dobson was forced out of his own organization Focus on the Family because he was too far to the right for the newer, kinder, gentler Board of Directors? "[T]the board of directors voted privately on Wednesday -- before we got there -- to ask for my resignation, although their request was made with kindness and respect. We can only guess the reason for their decision because frankly I don't fully know,"

It's not like they kept him on a yacht at sea, drugged and drunk all of the time while they slowly took over his organization, then dumped his sorry old butt into a nursing home in San Luis Obispo, oh, sorry, I thought we were talking about Scientology for a moment... of course, James has retired in the heart of medical marijuana land, so maybe the plan is to keep him herbally medicated to thwart his new planned radio show...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for commenting. I always try to respond...