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Debate Feud Gives Obama a Boost

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Posted on Jul 26, 2007

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

CHICAGO—A dozen or so young staffers were gathered around a bank of television sets at Barack Obama’s vast campaign headquarters here on Michigan Avenue. They were cheering on Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., as he took their candidate’s side in the great Obama-Hillary Clinton debate over how presidents should negotiate with unfriendly dictators.

    The mood was upbeat not only because the Obama loyalists judged Smith the winner in his Wednesday clash with Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” but also because Obama had pulled the front-runner into a direct confrontation over foreign policy.

    Obama’s own confidence was clear on Thursday morning during a conference call announcing he had won the endorsement of Rep. Paul Hodes, a freshman Democrat from New Hampshire.

    Politicians often underscore their own virtues by discovering the same traits in others, and Obama was no exception. He praised Hodes, an upset winner in the 2006 elections, as “a fresh new voice” who “spoke the truth” and “believed he could be an agent of change.” Hodes, right on message, explained his support for Obama as an effort to “complete my mission” in politics, which is—you guessed it—“to make some change.”

    And in response to questions, Obama continued to fire away at Clinton, saying her stand on negotiations with dictators was a continuation of “Bush administration policy.” In the Democratic contest, those are fighting words.

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    The Obama-Clinton confrontation might easily be written off as midsummer meaninglessness. It was set off during Monday’s CNN/YouTube debate when the candidates were asked whether they would “be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration ... with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries.”

    Without hesitation, Obama replied: “I would.” He dismissed as “ridiculous” the “notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them.”

    Clinton sensed an opening. “I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year,” she said, adding, “I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes.”

    Figuring she had the high ground, Clinton continued on the attack Tuesday, calling Obama’s position “irresponsible and frankly naive.” Instead of backing off, Obama fired back. On Wednesday, he hit Clinton on one of her weak points—her 2002 vote to give President Bush authority to go to war in Iraq. “I think what is irresponsible and naive is to have authorized a war without asking how we were going to get out,” Obama said. As some of us who watched Batman on TV remember: Kapow!

    In fact, Obama clearly sensed his own potential vulnerability and quickly tried to cauterize it. He was careful to say repeatedly that in talking with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Muslim leaders, he would send them “a strong message that Israel is our friend.”

    He also pulled back ever so slightly, insisting that “the notion that I was somehow going to be inviting them over for tea next week without having initial envoys meet is ridiculous.”

    But the eagerness with which Obama’s camp kept the battle going reflected a cardinal rule in politics: Front-runners should be wary of picking fights with challengers. In this case, Clinton allowed Obama to make one of her prime vulnerabilities, the Iraq vote, a central part of the campaign dialogue. She also let Obama get to her dovish side.

    In a Democratic primary, that’s not where she wants Obama to be. It was Obama’s good fortune that as the controversy was building, Iowa Democrats were receiving a campaign mailing headlined: “Barack Obama said No to the war in Iraq from the start.”

    The most intriguing aspect of this controversy is that both campaigns were operating from their respective positions of strength. Clinton has successfully cast herself as the toughest candidate of the Democratic bunch and has Washington experience that Obama can’t match. Obama, precisely because he exudes newness in every possible way, promises the most obvious break with the past.

    If Obama wins the nomination, Republicans will try to make him pay a price for his negotiation-friendly attitude. But this week, at least, Clinton started a battle about experience and Obama turned it into a debate about change.

    This dynamic, over a stray comment in a single debate, could be remembered as the moment that defined the Democratic presidential contest. Clinton faces trouble if she allows Obama a monopoly on the future.
   
    E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is postchat(at)aol.com.

    © 2007, Washington Post Writers Group


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Paolo's avatar

By Paolo, July 31, 2007 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

Obama deserves credit for saying he would meet with foreign leaders like Ahmadinejad of Iran.

Frankly, I would go about ten steps further. I not only think the President should meet with Iran’s leaders, but should also publicly apologize for the CIA coup in 1953 that deposed Mohammed Mossadegh, the democratically-elected leader, and replaced him with the “Shah”—Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who proceeded to institute a decades-long reign of terror over his own people.

I would then apologize for decades of nauseatingly false rhetoric about our alleged support of “democracy,” and “human rights.” The Iranians, having experienced our tender love of these two ideals under our hand-picked satrap, the Shah, must truly experience waves of nausea when they hear Bush pay lip service to them.

I would then withdraw all troops from the Middle East, starting tomorrow.

Then, I would start the same process with every other country we’ve screwed up over the past century.

This could end up being a very long-winded process, I fully admit…

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By ardee, July 31, 2007 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

#91141 by Douglas Chalmers on 7/31 at 12:58 pm
(426 comments total)

Hillary (Ms. Bill to you, ‘mack’ is running her own campaign and impudent “pushback” from Obama is being met just as it should be. He is the Democrats’ jumior and she is the senior in all respects ......and deserves some respect

Interesting concept there , Mr. Chalmers, a political discussion using respect for someone with whom you disagree…..Havent seen such a thing since “turdblossom” made his presence known on the political stage.

I have any number of reasons not to vote for Mrs. Clinton, but her intellect, passion and potential for leadership are not among them. I cannot help but imagine a political campaign wherein no mud was slung…...sigh.

If Hillary does indeed win the nomination, and with her money and alliances I believe she will, I conjecture we will see perhaps the very worst of American political mud slinging, and mostly by folks who would have trouble spelling mud slinging! I am glad I will be spending most of my time reading and thinking about what the third party candidates will be saying as they will undoubtedly represent much more fully the views of the majority of America.

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By Douglas Chalmers, July 31, 2007 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

#91103 by omop on 7/31 at 10:30 am: “...The Lady in Pink does have attitude….Acts as if becoming a President is her inherent right and other candidates are really “courtiers” to her majesty. Reminds one of Bush junior ascendancy….”

Some of you guys have a problem with a woman having an attitude? As I pointed out some time back, Hillary is a SCORPIO ......Bush is merely a reptile.

#91099 by mackTN on 7/31 at 10:12 am: “...I’m relieved to finally see some pushback from Obama, especially on this point where Hillary responded so queerly.  .......Then Ms Bill follows up with an utterly pedantic discourse on “how these things work in the White House.” ........Ms Bill needs to run her own campaign instead of following the path her husband walked when he was in office.  Yes, we know that as first wife she was in close proximity and observed the custom…....”

 

Oh, times have changed, alright, ‘mack’, but they seem to have changed without you. Your sexist agenda is still back somewhere well before even when Bill Clinton was president. By the way, its ‘Hillary and Bill’, now, in case you haven’t noticed. Patronizing her as some junior ex-White House employee just doesn’t wash.

When you say “Better to risk humiliation than a deadly war….”, you actually seem to mean the opposite.  Its wise to take a more diplomatic course in future if peace really is to be the main agenda. That is not at all anything like Bush’s garbage ....and Hillary does know how these things work at the White House.

Hillary (Ms. Bill to you, ‘mack’) is running her own campaign and impudent “pushback” from Obama is being met just as it should be. He is the Democrats’ jumior and she is the senior in all respects ......and deserves some respect.

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By ardee, July 31, 2007 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

#91099 by mackTN on 7/31 at 10:12 am
(5 comments total)

I’m relieved to finally see some pushback from Obama, especially on this point where Hillary responded so queerly.  Her response that she would not meet with them for fear of being used or trashed seemed downright personal.  I have never once heard a president or candidate reject meetings with hostile leaders because he was afraid of being used.

First insert obligatory disclaimer of support for Mrs. Clinton
I do not see her commentary in the same light as many Obama supporters do. A dictator would use a Presidential visit as a way of suppressing internal opposition, though I recognise the number of such dictators we call friends and do not call either Castro or Chavez one.

Mrs. Clinton is probably more aware than is Obama about the protocols and subtleties of such meetings as well….Again I support neither candidacy…

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By omop, July 31, 2007 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

The Lady in Pink does have attitude.

Acts as if becoming a President is her inherent right and other candidates are really “courtiers” to her majesty. Reminds one of Bush junior ascendancy.

The USA is in dire need of a President dedicated to statesmanship across the board, meaning both domestically and in foreign affaits. Whether that individual is a Rep. or Dem. is irrelevant. And preconceived notions spouted by any candidates is yust a lot of ......no need to spell it out.

In reference to the Obama/Hillary socalled feud. The more exchanges the better with the proviso that the USA deserves as well as direly needs a lot better than the continuation of the Bush/Clinton Family Feuds

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mackTN's avatar

By mackTN, July 31, 2007 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

I’m relieved to finally see some pushback from Obama, especially on this point where Hillary responded so queerly.  Her response that she would not meet with them for fear of being used or trashed seemed downright personal.  I have never once heard a president or candidate reject meetings with hostile leaders because he was afraid of being used.

Better to risk humiliation than a deadly war.  Bush’s refusal to speak to Saddam, Iran, Castro gives us what?  More of the same.  Is it, “do as I say, or you’ll suffer our military?” 

Then Ms Bill follows up with an utterly pedantic discourse on “how these things work in the White House.”  How patronizing.  As if Obama is just going to pop up at Fidel’s hospital room one morning, breezing in for that promised meeting.  Puh-lease. 

Ms Bill needs to run her own campaign instead of following the path her husband walked when he was in office.  Yes, we know that as first wife she was in close proximity and observed the customs, but, as Bob Dylan sings, times have changed.

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By atheo, July 30, 2007 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

Wally,

In what way does redeployment of “combat forces” constitute ending thee war?

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By Douglas Chalmers, July 30, 2007 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

#90930 by atheo on 7/30 at 5:16 pm: “...Scientists’ Tests Hack Into Electronic Voting Machines in California and Elsewhere…”

Maybe they got the backdoor code from the CIA???

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By Wally, July 30, 2007 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

Barack is a Hero of mine. I believe that speaking with our “enemies” is the best way to resolve issues. Even within daily life the best way to deal with conflict is to confront it head on. Lines of communication need to be open, and this is a new and fresh manner of dealing with international conflict. IT IS MORE THAN WELCOMED BY ME! Obama is going to make a political splash and if elected I know he will initiate the change needed to get this country back on track. I believe he will not only end the war, but also help fix the problems that have been plaguing our country. SO OBAMA!

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By atheo, July 30, 2007 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Normally I wouldn’t post NYT because of credibility faults. But this piece doesn’t rely on anonymous sources:

Scientists’ Tests Hack Into Electronic Voting Machines in California and Elsewhere
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By CHRISTOPHER DREW
Published: July 28, 2007
Computer scientists from California universities have hacked into three electronic voting systems used in California and elsewhere in the nation and found several ways in which vote totals could potentially be altered, according to reports released yesterday by the state.

The reports, the latest to raise questions about electronic voting machines, came to light on a day when House leaders announced in Washington that they had reached an agreement on measures to revamp voting systems and increase their security.

The House bill would require every state to use paper records that would let voters verify that their ballots had been correctly cast and that would be available for recounts.

The House majority leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, and the original sponsor of the bill, Representative Rush D. Holt, Democrat of New Jersey, said it would require hundreds of counties with paperless machines to install backup paper trails by the presidential election next year while giving most states until 2012 to upgrade their machines further.

Critics of the machines said that some of the measures would be just stopgaps and that the California reports showed that security problems needed to be addressed more urgently.

The California reports said the scientists, acting at the state’s request, had hacked into systems from three of the four largest companies in the business: Diebold Election Systems, Hart InterCivic and Sequoia Voting Systems.

Thousands of their machines in varying setups are in use.

The reports said the investigators had created situations for each system “in which these weaknesses could be exploited to affect the correct recording, reporting and tallying of votes.”

Voting experts said the review could prompt the California secretary of state, Debra Bowen, to ban the use of some of the machines in the 2008 elections unless extra security precautions were taken and the election results were closely audited.

Matthew A. Bishop, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, who led the team that tried to compromise the machines, said his group was surprised by how easy it was not only to pick the physical locks on the machines, but also to break through the software defenses meant to block intruders.

Professor Bishop said that all the machines had problems and that one of the biggest was that the manufacturers appeared to have added the security measures after the basic systems had been designed.

By contrast, he said, the best way to create strong defenses is “to build security in from the design, in Phase 1.”

The reports also said the investigators had found possible problems not only with computerized touch-screen machines, but also with optical scanning systems and broader election-management software…

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/28/us/28vote.html?_r=3&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

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By davidfh228011, July 30, 2007 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

I would have to agree with Non Credo

“All three of the Democratic Party frontrunners have clearly indicated that a nuclear first strike against Iran is “on the table”. “

This is unforgivable and despicable.

This is a very, very bad politics in my opinion.

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By gdebs, July 29, 2007 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For the life of me, I don’t understand why many commenters call, three time-democratically-elected Hugo Chavez, a dictator.  That is three times as often as Bush!  And other than callindg Bush a few names, what has he done to us to earn the designation “enemy?”

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 29, 2007 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

Re #90658 by SEQUOIABIS on 7/29 at 12:11 pm

You and I seem to be on the same wavelength. I am also currently giving my financial support to Kucinich, primarily because of his stand on impeachment. If Obama should let the “I” word pass his lips some time in the next couple of months, I would become an enthusiastic supporter. I have been on the Obama site and established a blog spot there called “Impeachers for Obama”. I have gotten a lot of cheers from the rank and file, even though the leadership has not said anything yet.

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By atheo, July 29, 2007 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

Jeffrey St. Clair: Barack Obama’s Nuclear AmbitionsThe Obama campaign, as of late March 2007, has accepted $159800 from executives and employees of Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear power plant operator. ...
http://www.counterpunch.org/stclair07042007.html


Jeff Taylor: The Foreign Policy of Barack Obama provides no alternative to Hillary Clinton, in terms of imperial-minded foreign policy. This is doubly regrettable since Clinton herself ...
http://www.counterpunch.org/taylor06232007.html


Awful Truth About Hillary, Barack, John… and Whitewash

By Norman Solomon

04/12/07 “ICH”——The Pentagon’s most likely next target is Iran.

Hillary Clinton says “no option can be taken off the table.”

Barack Obama says that the Iranian government is “a threat to all of us” and “we should take no option, including military action, off the table.”

John Edwards says, “Under no circumstances can Iran be allowed to have nuclear weapons.” And: “We need to keep all options on the table.”

A year ago, writing in the New Yorker, journalist Seymour Hersh reported: “One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites.”

For a presidential candidate to proclaim that all “options” should be on the table while dealing with Iran is a horrific statement. It signals willingness to threaten—and possibly follow through with—first use of nuclear weapons. This raises no eyebrows among Washington’s policymakers and media elites because it is in keeping with longstanding U.S. foreign-policy doctrine.

This year, with their virtually identical statements about “options” and “the table,” the leading Democratic presidential candidates—Clinton, Obama and Edwards—have refused to rule out any kind of attack on Iran.

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By Sally A. Bridges, July 29, 2007 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:  #90653 Sahmadi.
I agree with you, Sahmadi, I just don’t understand all of the Hillary worship by the pundits. I am disappointed in her need to please the the right people.  I realize that you can’t do anything unless you are elected, but this is not the honest way to do it. After listening to several of the political commentary programs this weekend, it occurred to me that, though most of them are very knowledgeable because it is their business to report on this subject, they are no smarter than the rest of us when analyzing these matters.  In fact, because the rest of us have to live in the real world, and suffer the consequences of the current political regime, it is less just a happy debate than a serious concern for how this impacts the majority of people in this country.  Call me overly sensitive, but I actually break down and cry, wondering if this country will survive the impact of this administration and its pandering to the elitists and the multinationals.  I don’t care about race, color, creed, or gender of a candidate, if they can demonstrate to me that they have integrity, intelligence, strength, and a genuine love for the principles for which this country purports to stand.  Democracy is more than capitalism, especially the money grubbing multinational system that is in vogue at this time.  Our sovereignty is at stake.  No, I, as most people, want a leader who can stand up to the enemy within, which is the real threat.  I am afraid it will be business as usual, because this enemy has been with us for a long time, and is getting too strong to resist.  Now, I believe, it is up to the American people to unite against a force which even a president, who takes office with good intentions, cannot override.  This is why, when picking a leader,  we should be more concerned about intentions and strength of character (and I don’t mean personal indiscretions which affect nobody other than him or her), than how she or he intend to work for THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, period!

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 29, 2007 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

One week after the debate, I am finding myself more in the Obama camp again. Hillary represents a return to the Clinton administration. After six years of Bush, that sounds good. It certainly would be a big improvement. But Bill Clinton really was just a centrist Democrat who did not change U.S. policies either foreign or domestic in a fundamental way. Obama gives me hope for something better. Yes he is young and relatively inexperienced, and you can sometimes see it. But he has loads of talent, and is learning fast.

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By atheo, July 29, 2007 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Patrick,

Paul does not support the embargo on Cuba, Nader likewise.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, July 29, 2007 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

How about Cuba?

It is beyond the pale how (9) previous Democratic and Republican administrations have refused to “talk” to that most close neighbor       to our south.

Obama demonstrated a willingness to negociate, I wonder about the Kucinich, Paul, Gravel and Nader positions on foriegn affairs.

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By Douglas Chalmers, July 29, 2007 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Oops, before the ‘feud’ starts, that was meant to be #90664 by Douglas Chalmers on 7/29 at 12:23 pm http://www.truthdig.com/interview/item/20070720_carl_bernstein_hillarys_politics_from_1968_to_2008/

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By Douglas Chalmers, July 29, 2007 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

#90584 by Non Credo on 7/29 at 6:36 am: “...#90492 by ardee on 7/28 at 4:19 pm
“In the blue corner, Doug Chalmers, in the red corner Non Credo (colors imply nothing).” ......But even amongst the contemptible, there are sometimes distinctions to be discerned….”

While Hillary is a Scorpio and, like Obama, also from Illinois, both Bill and Obama are Leos…...
( #90654 by Douglas Chalmers on 7/29 at 12:05 pm at http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20070724_bush_in_free_fall/  )

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By SEQUOIABIS, July 29, 2007 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

As Mr. Dionne so astutely observes this could very well be a defining moment in the campaign.
The candidates have finally stopped politely sparring around the issues, faithfully adhering to Mr. Reagan’s eleventh commandment.

But now it is time to put away the tea and crumpets and get serious about the issues.

I believe that Mrs. Clinton inadvertently revealed a little of the conservative side of her personality. You cannot get elected to the Senate in NY unless you tow the Israeli lobby line, which is; we are never allowed to speak with the enemies of Israel unless they approve it first.

Just recall back in the Carter days when his ambassador to the UN Andrew Young had the audacity to speak with an Arab nation. The Israeli lobby actually got him fired for such a blatant infraction of their rules.

I am not endorsing Obama just yet, still not sure about what he stands for. But I am very impressed so far with his stance on the war and his willingness to speak with everyone.
I am still a little nervous about his liberal credentials, and would like to know why he supported the Bankruptcy Bill that seemed to predominately benefit the banks and credit card companies and leave some folks in debt for life.

Kucinich is the candidate who most exemplifies my position and for now I will give him my financial support and my vote in the primaries.

Getting back to Mrs. Clinton; her tough stance regarding conversing with other nations who some might characterize as dictatorships or rogue nations or whatever arbitrary label the neocons might want to use to classify them, struck me as shrill and definitely Bush lite and AIPAC approved.

I was almost starting to forget why I have turned against Mrs. Clinton the last several years. I almost forgot about her naivety and stupidity in supporting the invasion of Iraq. In an instant she brought back all the memories of why I was beginning to dislike her.

To my dismay the junior Senator from NY my home state, had become no better than the neocons, giving ridiculous justifications for the war. As soon as it became clear that the country no longer favored the war she abandoned the war that she helped to start.

So yes Mr. Dionne I believe this very well may be a defining moment in the campaign. When Mrs. Clinton so boldly stated that she would NOT speak with any of the nations mentioned in the question I think it reminded many of us that this is how we got in trouble in the first place. Her position is exactly what Bush and Cheney advocate so how does she differ from them??

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By sahmadi, July 29, 2007 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Quote “#90591 by sophgogs on 7/29 at 6:58 am


Neither of ‘em can hold a candle to Edwards.  He doesn’t play with words.  He speaks ‘to’ AND ‘for’ all regular people.He’s so truthful it almost hurts.”
——————————————————————-

Edwards??? Speaks to and for Regular people?? I wish he could have taken at least ONE pro bono case in his lawyer practice.  I am sorry you don’t all of a sudden become some crusader for the little guy…you are or you are not…Edwards is an ambitious man, and he has found a niche talking his populist rhetoric…but unfortunately it is all rhetoric.

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By sahmadi, July 29, 2007 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As I read the comments and I have listened, read, and watched the commentary in the media, I just shake my head and wonder where all this credibility that is bestowed on Clinton comes from.  I keep reading about her experience, her debating skills, and her presence. 
What experience?...Can somebody tell what she is experienced at?  I can tell you that she is an experienced oppurtunists that has aided this moron of president to go to war, because she didn’t want to look weak when she runs for president.  She never speaks of her record, and her judgements…why…because her “experience” reveals a shallow political mind bent on one thing: ambition.  She is as experienced as Obama except she appears more willing to play politics with question of war/peace than Obama. 

Her debating skills?  Forgive me, but I have watched the debates, and I honestly cannot understand why these moronic pundits think she won.  I know they want her to win…but reality is reality.  I felt there was no clear cut winner in any debate.  Each candidate scored points, but the notion that Clinton won the debates is disingenous. 

Her presence?  I would hate to see another Clinton in the White House.  They had their chance, and in fact Hillary had her chance in the Senate when the decision to go to war was on the table…she blew it…and now she arrogantly rejects any notion of apologizing for her ill-informed vote.  It makes me sick to my stomach as I watch Hillary talk about what this President has done knowing that she aided this President.

Her response to the question of how open our diplomacy will be should be a clue that she is not the agent of change she claims to be…her experience reveals all that any reasonable person needs to know about her.  She voted to go to war without reading the NIE…Enough said.

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By Chaseme, July 29, 2007 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cyrena,

Each time an article is posted, after reading it, I look for your comments. Because each time, there seems to be ‘Wow’ moments; moments where I completely agree, or moments where I learn something.

Your comment: “Hillary definitely lost points with me on this very issue. So, I would agree that it’s given him a boost. That’s OK. That’s what these campaigns should ultimately expose, intentionally or otherwise” is another ‘Wow’ moment.

You see, I don’t really like Obama and I, for some strange reason supported Hilary, but I never felt comfortable with her. I have to say that I really, really like Kucinich, although he doesn’t have a chance to win. Isn’t it crazy how they force their own candidates on us?

Well, to make my point, this is why we have to support the idea that all of the candidates should stay in the race as long as possible to keep the others toeing the line; another thing that Hilary seems to be against. “Intentionally, or otherwise” this approach will “ultimately expose” the candidates for who they really are.

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By ardee, July 29, 2007 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

#90594 by omop on 7/29 at 7:15 am

You may be a legend in your own mind, but your self serving and sophomoric bullshit is nothing less than that.
Why you assume Mrs. Clinton was unaware of the affairs of her husband has more to do with your own agendised political position than any reality. This is between her and her husband and none of your fucking business whatsoever. What marital strife has to do with politics is a matter for your group therapy sessions, hopefully participation by your buddy Rush is mandatory as well.

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By ardee, July 29, 2007 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

#90584 by Non Credo on 7/29 at 6:36 am

Non,
I was merely having a bit of fun, nothing worse should be implied.

I agree that neither candidate is worthy of my support, excruciating details unecesary…..

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By atheo, July 29, 2007 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Cyrena,

#90531
“the majority of Baracks funds are the result of an aggressive and “innovative?” campaign…old- fashioned GRASS ROOTS”

Please post your source for this contention. It seems to contradict the figures compiled by the journalists at philly.com that I posted at:

#90415 by atheo

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By omop, July 29, 2007 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

Any individual that is not aware their mate is being serviced sexually by a partner under his desk in one of the rooms in the house they both have lived-in for several months calling some one else naive is “soap-opera” dialogue.

To have individuals call Hillary experienced adds to the surreality of her calling Sen. Obama. “naive”. The most that can be said for an “apparatchik” suc as Hillary [ a resident of many years, in Illinois, Arkansas, DC and by osmosis a Senator, after a few months of residence in New York state] is that that is as close to what describes a travelling salesperson.

That coupled with a remark made by her husband and attested by others, “that Hillary has slept with more women than I have” makes one wonder as to the “experience and intellectual honesty” of someone expecting the American voter to put her in the White House.

But then Hillary’s presumption might be that the non-AIPAC member as well as the non-christian fundametalist American voter is a docile imbecile.

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By sophgogs, July 29, 2007 at 7:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Neither of ‘em can hold a candle to Edwards.  He doesn’t play with words.  He speaks ‘to’ AND ‘for’ all regular people.He’s so truthful it almost hurts.

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By ardee, July 29, 2007 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

Cyrena,

I am frankly very disappointed in both posts, 90531 , where you turn any critique of Obama’s candidacy into racism, and 90494, where you twist a simple declarative about Obama’s complete lack of experience on the national stage into a fanatical disclaimer.

I have come to expect better of you, while it is obvious you are a supporter of Barak’s one might think your support would be better served without descending into outrageous hyperbole like this…..

The Office of the Presidency is hardly an entry level position, and it is one in which we have blatant fact how an unfit office holder can really,  truly screw things up. If you think this fanaticism, or believe Frank Cajon a racist simply because he questions Obama’s fitness to hold this office then I suggest you ask yourself some serious questions regarding debate procedures and to what extent loyalty overwhelms common sense….

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By Debra Istvanik-Strotman, July 28, 2007 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hillary is correct “You send and envoy to meet with Chavez and the others” before you yourself as president meet with them. Hillary never said she wouldn’t meet with the heads of state; just not the first year, and not without gathering information on their agenda’s.

Easy for Obama, ‘like a broken record’ go on and on about how he would not have voted to go into Iraq. He wasn’t around to vote, so cannot know how he would have voted at the time. Obama has become an attack dog spouting off on what the others ‘woulda, coulda, didn’t do.’..The majority of americans quaking in their boots with fear were all for this war, believing, as congress did the lies Bush and his buddies were putting out there. Obama should get a talk show and forget politics. He is mesmerized with the camera and his own image.

Obama started off all for Universal Health coverage for all americans and is now backing off. The question is not why, but how many $$$$ to change his mind on giving all americans the health care he and all politicians enjoy at our expense..

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By cyrena, July 28, 2007 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

#90517 by Sally A. Bridges on 7/28 at 7:21 pm

Sally, great post. To thine own self be true. That’s the only thing that works, even if it takes awhile for folks to figure it out.

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By cyrena, July 28, 2007 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

#90513 by Frank Cajon on 7/28 at 6:53 pm

•  ....but where in hell does a first-term, African-American Senator with less national government experience than just about anyone in DC end up with the most campaign cash to date, if isn’t from the same people that brought you Bush/Cheney and offer you Clinton?’....

Ya know Frank, I’ve explained, at least a couple of times on this site, where and how Obama has come into this money. But, some people, and dead-set against accepting that. It’s pretty standard fare in the American mentality these days, beginning at the top. No matter what, there will continue to ALWAYS be people, who will never accept an African-American as a president. Period.

The more “sophisticated” among them, will ALWAYS find some ostensible “rationale” for why Obama, (or any other African-American) should not be a president, such as the ones that you put forth. In those less “sophisticated” the racism is far more blatant, and therefore more easily noticed. And, for the most part, that’s better. There’s none of this “trying to sound rationale and balanced” as you find all of these same sorry excuses to spout smear propaganda. (I admit yours isn’t as bad as some that I’ve read, who have Obama as an undercover Wahhabi Islamist, ready to turn America into a caliphate the moment he’s elected. Some of it is just incredibly stupid.) Still, no matter how “nuanced” it always comes through.

But, just for the record, I’ll tell you again, how Obama has come by his money, because I’ve been paying very close attention to all of them. And, the TRUTH, is far less sinister or complicated, than any of your type want to believe…Bottom line, the majority of Baracks funds are the result of an aggressive and “innovative?” campaign…old- fashioned GRASS ROOTS. And, this movement includes ALL TYPES of “grass-roots”, but primarily that large portion of the populace, that has been virtually ignored, (and mostly silent) for well over a decade.

Indeed, he has received major boosts from the individual “Hollywood types” who have the bucks, and did a lot in persuading him to run. (it was not his intention 3 years ago). So yes, Barack was ENCOURAGED to run. However, once he made that decision, the rest of the grass-roots portion of the campaign, has grown at the rate that it has, because of that silent support. He’s getting it from the black communities, (at least the urban ones) and definitely from the black religious communities. He takes small donations, and so he gets a bunch of them. (For whatever the reason, black folks WILL give their money to their churches. Large sums have come to him this way.) Here again, we’re talking about a population that nobody ever really considers in terms of these campaigns, because they’ve basically been ignored for so long. If you don’t live in these communities, or work in them, then…you don’t know.

So, for an ever-growing population of the country, Barack has in fact offered a sign of HOPE, by addressing the issues that concern these people the most. And, those issues are less complicated than you might think, so they know that it IS possible, for them to have decent schools, and a supply of jobs, and a sense that they have some stake in what is called our “nation”.

These people come from all races, all professions, and all just want what has been advertised as “The American Dream”. They have in common that they want a change, and there are more of them out there then some of us are aware of.

So, it could happen…..even with the “Swiftboating Smear” tactics that we’ve certainly come to expect.

If so, I promise condolence cards to you and atheo, even though I know you’ll get over it, before you even realize it.

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By DennisD, July 28, 2007 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These debates are nothing more than face time opportunities for the front running hand puppets we call candidates. The vast majority of the electorate,  conditioned by TV advertising has the attention span of a fruit fly and won’t remember a damn thing any of them say about anything. They’ll vote the way they buy tooth paste or any other consumable. Whoever puts out the most ads and gets the most exposure will win. Style, profile and corporate backing is everything in America and qualifications mean little or nothing. Until more voters are willing to buck the system and vote third or fourth party we’ll continue to be ruled by the “golden rule”. He who has it - rules.

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By Sally A. Bridges, July 28, 2007 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

I agree with those who believe that ignoring those heads of state with which we have disagreements is ignorant.  I don’t think Hillary is ignorant; she is just saying what she thinks is the correct answer.  This exchange has diminished her, in my opinion.  “To thine own self be true”.  This works better than trying to say the “right thing.”  I’m not a religious person, but it will come back to bite you in your buttocks if you try to dance to the tune of ambition.  When you ignore someone they will do radical things to get your attention (aka Iran).  Also, when we “stick up” for our pals (e.g. Israel) like nasty little brats on the playground, we are acting like bullies.  The children of Israel have had it tough, but they can be wrong-headed about their chosen status in the world.  There are others who deserve to live, just as well.  This means that we need to remove ourselves from bedding with anyone who would diminish us and give others a hearing. Obama is correct!!

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By Frank Cajon, July 28, 2007 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

It puzzles me why Clinton is thought of as an alternative to the BushCheneyReich. She has been a part of it from the get-go. Trying to say that that backing the blitzkrieg for all those years with hundreds of billions was a mistake doesn’t wash. She is only a first-rank Demo candidate because the military-industrial-financial heirarchy that have backed Bush/Cheney are hedging the lack of an electable GOP candidate by piling up her coffers with cash.
And Obama’s. C’mon, people. This guy looks good on TV, has great sound bytes, but where in hell does a first-term, African-American Senator with less national government experience than just about anyone in DC end up with the most campaign cash to date, if isn’t from the same people that brought you Bush/Cheney and offer you Clinton? He isn’t getting this from grass-roots contributions. I want a candidate who will get us the fuck out of all military entanglements in the middle East, first by an immediate withdrawl from Iraq and ceasing ties to Saudi Arabia, and involvement in Pakistan and Afganistan only as part of UN efforts. Neither of these front-runners is going to do anything of the sort. I held out briefly some hopes that Obama might be a potential agent for change, but I just don’t see it now. He needs to lay out a radically different strategy to give any hope that the Republicrats really have anything better to offer, except maybe less threat of a dictatorship than we have right now.

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By atheo, July 28, 2007 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

Obama spells out his foreign policy: “I will not hesitate to use force”

By Andre Damon

This month’s issue of Foreign Affairs carries an essay by Barack Obama outlining his foreign policy. Obama gets to the point early on. Noting the catastrophe in Iraq, he writes: “After thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars spent, many Americans may be tempted to turn inward and cede our leadership in world affairs. But this is a mistake we must not make.”

The senator’s words must be seen in context. The foreign policy establishment that constitutes the key audience of Foreign Affairs generally recognizes that the debacle in Iraq represents a disaster for American military and geopolitical hegemony. In evaluating presidential candidates, these elements are looking for leaders who will not equivocate in the assertion of US primacy. Obama certainly gives them no cause for disappointment. To this end, he writes: “To see American power in terminal decline is to ignore America’s great promise and historic purpose in the world.”

How is this dominance to be preserved? Obama does not leave us in suspense: “We must use this moment both to rebuild our military and to prepare it for the missions of the future. We must retain the capacity to swiftly defeat any conventional threat to our country and our vital interests. But we must also become better prepared to put boots on the ground in order to take on foes that fight asymmetrical and highly adaptive campaigns on a global scale.” In concrete terms, Obama recommends adding 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines to the standing military.

As demonstrated by the above passages, Obama’s quarrels with Bush administration foreign policy are of a tactical nature; both Obama and the current resident of the White House share the overall strategic goal of preserving American hegemony by force of arms…


At the very least, Obama’s policy would entail keeping tens of thousands of troops just across the border in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, ready to engage in combat operations at short notice…In practice, the policy means indefinite engagement in Iraq, despite a nominal “pullout.”


The idea that the Iraqi people have proven unable to govern themselves has become something of the standard Democratic rationale for withdrawal from Iraq. Such an assertion is patently ridiculous; the Iraqi government is unable to function largely because it is despised as an instrument of the occupation, and the sectarian violence gripping the country—not to mention the insurgency—is a direct product of the American intervention in the country.

Obama goes on to recommend that the military capability economized in his “pullout” from Iraq be used elsewhere in the region, including in support of Israel: “Our starting point must always be a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel…”

As is obvious from the above passages, Obama is not an “antiwar” candidate by any stretch of the word. What is most striking about the article is the degree of similarity between the theoretical, political and even rhetorical underpinnings of Obama’s foreign policy and that of the Bush administration.

While in some ways the continuation of trends that have been developing for decades, the Bush administration’s foreign policy is sharply delineated from previous precedents by a several key features. First, the Bush presidency saw fit to justify all military operations on the basis of a fabricated “global war on terror.” The chief strategy of this war was to be preemptive strike—that is, unilateral military action, illegal under international law—against any nation targeted by the president in his capacity as “commander in chief.”

Barack Obama accepts this formulation lock, stock and barrel…In fact, “Al Qaeda” and “terrorist” are together mentioned in the essay more often than “Iraq.”

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jul2007/obam-j28_prn.shtml

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By Dean Pettit, July 28, 2007 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

JFK said at his first inaugural:  “Let us not negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”  His comment still makes sense.

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By jmndodge, July 28, 2007 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Bill Clinton set the stage for our tragic invasion in Iraq, with policies of “Punishing enemies” who while might have become friends through diplomacy.  A vote for Clinton, is a vote to continue failed tired politics, yes its true H. Clinton is much more capable than Bush,  but her record shows the same commitment to failed policies.  I fear Obama might also fail to change direction, but he is worth a try.

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By atheo, July 28, 2007 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

The illusion of democracy marches on.

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By cyrena, July 28, 2007 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

#90492 by ardee on 7/28 at 4:19 pm


....“Barak is a neophyte with barely two years of national politics to his resume. Who the hell knows what he would do, who the hell wants a fledgling politico to lead our nation?”...

Ardee, the Churchill quote….you’re starting to sound like one.


I don’t think you’ve done much neutral thinking on Barack at all. Even if you had done an iota of research on him, you’d see that he has more leadership skill, experience, and INTELLIGENCE, than george has ever been able to muster, and yet you seem perfectly OK with him.

I’m sensing some fanaticism here. But, it’s OK. We the people will eventually elect a leader, and if it’s Obama, you’ll receive the benefits as well, even though you’ve already denounced him. That’s what’s so wonderful about democracy.

What we need (as a nation) and more than anything else, is some FRESH BLOOD in our government. That’s what we have in Barack, that we don’t have, in any other candidate. Kucinich would be acceptable, but I don’t think he has much of a chance.

So, you might just be “saved” despite yourself.smile

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By ardee, July 28, 2007 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

In the blue corner, Doug Chalmers, in the red corner Non Credo (colors imply nothing)..

“A fanatic is someone who cant change his mind and wont change the subject.”  Winston Churchill

Hillary is a corporatist who will not make the basic changes necesary to lead our nation through the early twenty first century.

Barak is a neophyte with barely two years of national politics to his resume. Who the hell knows what he would do, who the hell wants a fledgling politico to lead our nation?

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By atheo, July 28, 2007 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Are Dem candidates sellouts? Follow the money

ONE OF THE more interesting moments in the Democratic CNN/YouTube debate this week was candidate Mike Gravel’s little rant against fellow candidates, advising viewers to follow the money.
“The Democratic Party used to stand for the ordinary working man,” he said, “But the Clintons and the DLC [Democratic Leadership Council] sold out the Democratic Party to Wall Street.

“Look at where all the money is being raised right now for Hillary, Obama and Edwards. It’s the hedge funds, it’s Wall Street bankers, it’s the people who brought you what you have today. Please wake up . . . they’re lock, stock and barrel in their pocket.”

It wasn’t the first time.

Two weeks ago at a NAACP forum in Detroit, Gravel said the front-runners are taking millions from pharmaceutical and health professionals.

“You think,” he asked, “they’re free after they get to be president? That they’re going to do something for you on health care? My God, you’re more gullible than I ever thought you were.”

...I thought I’d check who’s getting what from where.

The Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group, tracks contributions by selected industries.

In the “hedge fund & private equity” category, the winner to date is Republican Mitt Romney (co-founder of a private equity firm) with $797,325 in contributions.

Nice to know your friends remember you.

Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut is second with $726,950.

Oh, yeah, he’s chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

See, some things in politics do make sense.

Hillary’s third with $703,600, suggesting maybe the Clintons didn’t sell out quite enough (though 700K is a nice asking price).

Barack Obama and Rudy Giuliani are fourth and fifth, each with more than $640,000.

So I’m betting hedge funds won’t suffer no matter who’s elected.

Gravel’s words ring a tad truer in the “securities and investment” industry.

Front-running Democrats seem to own that crowd (or, maybe, vice versa). Hillary got $3.3 million, Obama $3.1 million.

Rudy and Mitt are right behind with $3 million and $2.9 million.

You know, ya gotta diversify.

In contributions from “health professionals,” Hillary (the queen of health-care reform) is out front with $998,851, which has to be disquieting for those hoping she revisits her former issue with gusto.

Romney is second with $829,337 and Obama’s third with $701,993.

John Edwards is sixth with $254,297.

In money from “pharmaceuticals/health products,” it’s Romney first ($277,455), Hillary second ($172,150) and Obama third ($160,572).

Edwards is a dismal 11 of 17, with a paltry $6,758.

(Guess they remember malpractice or personal-injury suits he won.)

Don’t weep for Edwards. The North Carolina trial lawyer is remembered well by colleagues. He leads all candidates with $6.5 million from “lawyers/law firms,” the biggest single giving group.

Hillary, also a lawyer, is second with $6.2 million. Obama, also a lawyer, is third with $5.5 million.

Oh, and Gravel, not a lawyer, is last with $500 from a Montclair, N.J., firm specializing in employment and civil-rights litigation.

Known for fighting to end the draft in the ‘70s and releasing the Pentagon Papers on the Senate floor, Gravel has as much chance of being president as he does matching Hillary’s money.

But I like the fact that he reminds us all just what it costs to win high office and who’s paying the way. *

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/columnists/john_baer/20070725_John_Baer___Are_Dem_candidates_sellouts__Follow_the_money.html

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By GW=MCHammered, July 28, 2007 at 11:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A FAILED RUN FOR THE PRESIDENCY
The Warshington Prone
By Indigent Riter
July #!, 20$$

At a recent staff meeting, my editor in chief asked why I was so absent from my work. He seemed upset. I explained that my time away from my desk was well spent, looking for a better job.

“And you believe the company should pay your salary while you’re on this quest?” my editor inquired. “Certainly. If I do better, we all do better. Right?” I asked them to consider. Sighs and grumbles orbited the room. Obviously my colleagues did not comprehend the gravity of my newfound undertaking. Hmm.

“What’s this ‘better job’ you seek?” begged my editor. “President,” I replied. “Of The Warshington Prone?” asked a co-worker. “Nooo, the United States,” I clarified, “There will be many appearances and debates…”

“You’ll be here another week,” the blurry image said hovering over me. “You were lucky, you know. A laptop between the eyes usually requires two weeks in the IC,” announced the surgeon.

Maybe I’ll run for City Council… after work.

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By cyrena, July 28, 2007 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

#90366 by Non Credo on 7/28 at 8:31 am

....“The previous Iranian president was more liberal, moderate, and willing to negotiate than the present one; it was US and Israeli threats and violence which helped elect Ahmadinejad in his place. But even he is not the monster they paint him to be.”...

Indeed you are right on this Non Credo, as I have been studying Iran’s history as well. And, in reality, the Iranians are far more politically active than we are, and always have been. So, they had their own reasons for electing Ahmadinejad, and it was (at least in part) because they needed a “hardnoser” to match cheney’s hardnose regime. And, they also expected Mamoud to make life a bit better for them as well.

I personally think his own sometimes “provacative” behavior has been a direct reaction to the traditional bullying techniques of this regime. I mean, really, they started out by calling the Iranians part of an “Axis of Evil”, and when the moron said it, (for all of the world to hear) he was directly addressing “the citizens of Iran”. Now come on, why would they NOT be thoroughly pissed-off? It’s not like they’ve ever been particularly happy with U.S. interference in their affairs anyway. The Shah certainly knows all about that.

And, for those of us who read, we know very well that Ahmadinejad has never been close to the demon that the Cabal represents. And, while I don’t believe that ANY nation or people should have access to nuclear WEAPONS, I’d actually feel a whole lot safer with Ahmadinejad having the “code” than the ones who have it over here.

Ahmadinejad may be a bit ethocentric, but dick bush is totally out of his mind. ANYTHING could happen with them. It already has.

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By Douglas Chalmers, July 28, 2007 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

#90366 by Non Credo on 7/28 at 8:31 am: “...This is all a big fake emergency, engineered to justify a nuclear attack against Iran, in order to terrorize everybody in the region, and to preserve and enhance the Israelis’ regional nuclear monopoly and military dominance - the better to lord it over everybody else and steal whatever land and resources they take a shine too….”

To concur, well partly, the real reason has just been made apparent - U.S. Plans New Arms Sales to Gulf Allies: “The Bush administration will announce next week a series of arms deals worth at least $20 billion to Saudi Arabia and five other oil-rich Persian Gulf states as well as new 10-year military aid packages to Israel and Egypt, a move to shore up allies in the Middle East and counter Iran’s rising influence…...” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/27/AR2007072702454.html?hpid=topnews

As I described in my earlier posts, the role of the military-industrial complex is still paramount and the lives of US troops or people in Iraq or Iran or even the price of oil and the consequences to the US and global economies has little significance. Peace doesn’t count.

Its about the money - and this is the culmination of all that diplomatic ‘effort’ by Cheney and Rice. They have merely been playing catch-up with Britain which already extracted a similar deal from S.Arabia some time back. Why else was Blair so keen to be ‘friends’ with Bush and send 1,000’s of troops to Iraq?


#90371 by Non Credo on 7/28 at 8:42 am: “...Oh, now really! That was so transcendently silly that I wanted to give you a cookieand a glass of milk…!”

Ha ha, youve fumbled this badly, Non Credo. It is hardly any comparison between Obama’s ‘apple’ and Hillary’s ‘orange’. And ‘only a hair’s difference”??? Get over it.

The real issue is not so much pandering to the Neocon/Zionist/pro-Israel lobby so much as convincing the stupidest people in the world (the US Christian fundamentalists) that you care about their ‘holy land’ illusions and naive dreams of fading US power.

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By Douglas Chalmers, July 28, 2007 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

#90346 by Non Credo on 7/28 at 7:05 am: “...But Doug, YOUR position was: (3) Clinton wins. Yes, Doug: you actually claimed that Hillary’s MORE belligerent, hard-line, pro-Israel stance was better! That makes ZERO sense! You fumbled this. Get over it….”

Oh, Non Credo, so now its really come down to ‘mine is longer than yours’, eh, ha ha? Between you and I, that is not an issue but for Obama to play your silly game against Hillary is so-ooo stupid. The ‘length’ of his ‘main problem’ is not related to, or contestable with, Hillary’s er, uh, ‘thing’! Do you understand?

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By cyrena, July 28, 2007 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

#90334 by Non Credo on 7/28 at 5:47 am

Look, I understand that an even better thing to say would have been, “Iran is a manufactured issue. Iran has the right to enrich uranium under the NPT. And Iran actually supports the Iraqi government. Iran is not our ‘enemy’ in some fundamental sense. Let’s stop demonizing Iran and its president.” But NEITHER took that position.

Non-Credo,

This would in fact have been THE THING for any of them to say. Simply, the truth. And actually, Obama has in fact made a reference to this, (Iran’s rights under the NPT) in other comments. Obviously though, he didn’t say this in the debate, and it would have been to his advantage to make that clear.

Assigning some sort of “blame” to Iran, (which he has unfortunately brought into as well) shows a contradictory position, though he may be doing nothing more than the opposite, which is simply to recognize the influence that Iran has gained, via the invasion and occupation.

There is little denying the influence that this blunder in Iraq, has provided for Iran. The problem (the way I see it) is in spinning it as a “dangerous” influence, when in fact the stability of Iraq should be in the best interests of ALL it’s neighbors, and there’s nothing the least bit “exceptional” about Iran exerting an “influence” in Iraq. They’ve been “neighbors” (feuding or otherwise) since long before the Cabal went over to terrorize them.

Unfortunately, the “influence” has had some negative repercussions for MANY Iraqis. The theological takeover has been hell on the secular interests of Iraq’s population, and women in particular, have suffered as a result. Still, this is all that NONE of the neocons ever bothered to consider, prior to launching this neo-colonialization effort, that has exploded in their faces, and taken a substantial portion of the rest of the region into the fray with them.

The dirty bastards!!!

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By Douglas Chalmers, July 28, 2007 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

QUOTE REUTERS - Obama, Clinton exchange fresh blows - Fri Jul 27: “...Clinton, leading in the Democratic contest, considers the first-term senator from Illinois naive for saying he would be willing to meet the troublesome leaders, while Obama thinks Clinton is sticking to the foreign policy status quo of the much-criticized Bush administration.

“So often in Washington, experience means doing what we’ve been doing over and over and over again. Well, to me that’s not experience if what you’re doing isn’t working,” Obama told a crowd on a farm in Adel, a field of corn behind him.

“It’s bad judgment and if you want to show good judgment, then you’ve got to be open to changing the way we do things in order to get different outcomes,” he said.

Clinton, a two-term senator from New York and former first lady, did not back down from her belief that any meetings with the leaders should be preceded by lower-level diplomacy to make sure there is a reason for the leaders to meet.

But at a campaign event in West Virginia, she stressed that her diplomacy would be more expansive than that of the Bush White House, saying “we will get back to working with other countries….” “.  http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN2619692620070727

I really hope they find a way to work this out together instead of coming to blows for no real gain…....

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By Douglas Chalmers, July 28, 2007 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

#90334 by Non Credo on 7/28 at 5:47 am: “...This is ridiculous. I showed how wrong was your defense of Hillary Clinton, by your own principles, and you can’t just admit that you had a brain fart, and then move on….”

Oh, really, NC, what I wanted was your co-operation, not your “brain fart”. After all that, finally we now have an intelligent and useful statement on your “credo”. Can you now extend that so that people are encouraged to do what you suggest as far as simply re-stating the questions according to the facts instead of being led like sheep?

As you said, “NEITHER took that position” so you can hardly then argue that “in this particular exchange, Barak Obama had the better and more admirable position….” ....that is a nonsense. You are wasting your breath in “staying the course” with your useless point while still failing to deal with the real issue.

That is so common with the American people - the 50% who bother to vote, that is….. no wonder they are still being bamboozled and led like sheep by a tame goat into the slaughterhouse!

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By THOMAS BILLIS, July 28, 2007 at 12:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First of all the President of Iran is elected.Second of all Hugo Chavez was elected the last time with 60% of the electorate.Everytime we do not like the results of an election we call it a dictatorsip and the chattering heads go right along with it.Lets not forget what started this problem with Chavez is when there was a coup to depose Chavez who was legally elected and the Bush administration immediately recognized the coup as the government of Venezuela.Surprise surprise when Chavez reagined power he did not feel amenable to the United States.When we invaded Afghanistan and the Iranians were giving us intelligence to help us topple the Taliban the President of Iran was a good guy.When we went on war for oil he became a bad guy.Americas President should be willing 24 hours a day to talk with any leader on the face of the earth that will advance American interests.Everyone seems to forget that the original question was made in the context of Anwar Sadats rush visit to Israel that lead to peace between Israel and Egypt.I want a President in the Sadat image who is smart enough to seize the moment

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By cyrena, July 27, 2007 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

Comment#90224 by rage on 7/27 at 6:18 pm

Rage…

You are sooooo on the money!!! Great post.

And, while there is indeed a lot of marathon left to run, I’m actually looking forward to it.

Thanks again for the assessment.

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By atheo, July 27, 2007 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

Hillary seems to be onboard with the bipartisan war agenda.

AFP:

US nixes higher-level talks with Iran
Published: Wednesday July 25, 2007  

The United States on Wednesday rejected holding higher-level talks with Iran, one day after their ambassadors to Baghdad held a landmark second meeting on Iraqi security.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that Tehran would be willing to consider talking to Washington, its arch-foe for almost three decades, at the level of deputy foreign minister.

But “I don’t see that happening at this point of time,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

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By rage, July 27, 2007 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama dealt Billary the wake-up blow on that one. He was absolutely right. Hillary has been unleaded-Bush for too long. For her to claim that sitting down to address the grievances of enemy dictators could somehow set her at risk of being propagandized by the enemy sounded like Dumya during one of his booze-addled 9/11 rants. She came off as every bit the dummy for whom Dumya was the ventrilloquist. And that act was officially old when she supported Iraq. That was just another reminder that this screechy scrambly babyboomer was once a Goldwater girl. Her GOP RED roots are overdue for a touch-up with the DEM BLUE rinse. Obama was just pointing her to the Blue Rinse bottle under the DNC ladies’ room sink. “Tha’ ya’ go, suga! Get ‘cha roots together, girl.”

Billary could possibly be a decent politician if she were to get Dumya’s fist out of her anus and her @$$ out of the political beds of the corporate complex. Right now, her aggravating political expedience is highly reflective of her being so beholden to her right-leaning corporate provisioners. If anything costs her the nomination of her party, it will be her failure to address more than the issues and people her sponsors deem critical enough to pay her to bring to the forefront for their benefit. Too often, it’s pretty obvious that Hillary is all about raising enough cash to remain the frontrunning woman candidate who only esteems two or three issues to be valuable enough to address. Yeah, she’s promised universal healthcare, ya-da ya-da ya. But, little else she stands for benefits anyone but her base. Well, America has a bought-n-bossed jerk in Office already who has demonstrated the wretchedness of devotion to his base. So, no one is going to tolerate that from some petulant woman from the party with no spine. Her continuing to try to die Blue the tenets of the Red mantra will put Obama, Edwards, and Gore permanently ahead of her, causing her to never to regain the lead, if she’s not careful. There’s still a whole lot of marathon left to be run between now and November 2008.

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By davidfh228011, July 27, 2007 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

I think that both have things against them from their record.  This is too soon to really judge who will win the ballot.

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By Douglas Chalmers, July 27, 2007 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

#90028 by Non Credo on 7/27 at 6:53 am: “...Did anyone else notice that Obama’s critics seem to have stopped claiming that Iran’s president “threatened to wipe Israel off the map…?”

Lets re-state this in terms Non Credo can understand…..
The main point is neither Iran nor Iraq. Continuing a never-ending debate on those issues is only playing Bush’s game and to the Neocon’s advantage. The Democrats might as well invite them back into office and merely continue as the opposition party.

Pandering to the American-Jewish lobby is even worse. It has become so obvious that it is leading down the road to Armageddon. Let Israel have its own Apocalypse and Armageddon if that is what they truly want. They have earned it! If you can’t see that, then you are part of the problem, Non Credo…....

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By Douglas Chalmers, July 27, 2007 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

#90108 by Non Credo on 7/27 at 11:45 am: “...That’s immaterial to my post. My point was that she attacked him first. She started it….”

No, Non Credo, Hillary has the right to make a point. Even though they are not really “evil heads of state”, there is a process in diplomacy which has to be gone through -  you don’t just shoot your mouth off about woever or with whoever you please, especially in another country.

“Vowing he’d talk to these people” puts Obama’s neck in their noose - and possibly some other country’s noose as well. It might sound smart to the naive public but is really quite stupid from a diplomatic statesman-like view. Hillary was right to correct him ....and he should have accepted that. Instead, he has been childishly impudent.

If there is one thing disappointing about Obama, it is that he has been hiding behind overly-generous tolerance/acceptance of color but has still been willing to resort to demeaning a person of the opposite sex (a lady, if you please, in gentleman’s terms). That is really dumb and especially with a fellow democrat!

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By Fools on the Hill, July 27, 2007 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pretty difficult to see how Obama wins this fight.  He pandered.  Hillary nailed him.  He back tracked saying he just wouldn’t meet with them out right.

Obama claiming Hillary is like Bush, is very nasty and everyone knows Hillary isn’t like Bush.  Obama attacking Bill Clinton isn’t going to get him very far either.

Can’t help but wonder if Obama is imploding and not ready for prime time.

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By Reality Checker, July 27, 2007 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

Obama is right we need to get beyond this military/ sports mentality that rules this country and many others.

Factionalism is the most evil thing in the world. The military sports mentality needs factions to exist. It can’t survive without factions.

It always thinks in terms of us and them.

The leaders of the future are going to need a different mentality if they are going to deliver the goods.

Peacemakers aren’t into factionalism.

The leaders we are looking for are going to focus on peacemaking.

Peacemakers are friendly and open to all factions and put their energy and resources into breaking barriers and walls that exist between factions.

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By Douglas Chalmers, July 27, 2007 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

#90081 by Non Credo on 7/27 at 10:11 am: “...From #90020 by Marjorie L. Swanson on 7/27 at 6:16 am:

“If Obama wants to get in the mudslinging business, like most politicians, he should be slinging it at the Bush Administration and the Republicans. “
—————
Oh please, Marjorie - Hillary is the one who threw the first punch here. Obama answered the question about whether he’d meet with Ahmadinejad, and then Hillary attacked HIM for his answer…...”“”

Actually, Obama’s reply was kind of dumb - also, read the rest of Marjorie’s posting.

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By ocjim, July 27, 2007 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

How can anyway with an open mind not say they will talk to any leader whose country impacts us and the world that much, especially after the Neanderthalic foreign relations of BushCo. Hillary dropped the ball on that one, hoping to embarass Obama.

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By KYJurisDoctor, July 27, 2007 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sure most Democrats, who resent Bush and are running against him and his policies, APPLAUD Obama’s stance.

http://OsiSpeaks.com or http://OsiSpeaks.org

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By Marjorie L. Swanson, July 27, 2007 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

If Obama wants to get in the mudslinging business, like most politicians, he should be slinging it at the Bush Administration and the Republicans. Senator Clinton did not say she would not use diplomacy or would act in the mutton-headed way that the Bush Administration has. He may have gained points with some, mostly those who are predisposed to hate Hillary no matter what she says or does, but he lost ground with me. He sure stepped off that moral high ground about a message of hope real quick when his rock star status started to diminish a tad. I still like John Edwards. But any Democrat over any Republican. Just hope the Democratic Candidate can survive attacks from within their own party.

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By KISS, July 27, 2007 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

Both of these clowns are empty suits. Obama is a Lieberman clone, and of course Hillary is Billie-Bob clone.
What worries me most about Hillary is will she do the harm Bubba did? The Segall act of 1933 Clinton axed that forbid the manipulations of wall-street,as in hedge funds and derivatives, the unconscionable destruction of well-fare, and the NAFTA Free Trade give-aways, etc. etc.
If you think one of these self-servitudes care about the American people, you got rocks where brains should be.

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By cyrena, July 27, 2007 at 3:59 am Link to this comment

#89982 by P. T. on 7/27 at 1:08 am
(94 comments total)

In my view, the refusal to meet with adversaries until they surrender unilaterally is used by elements of the U.S. ruling class to stir up tension and manipulate public opinion.
+++++++++++++++++++++++

P.T, Good observation. But, I wanted to add, that this “tactic” is NOT “traditional” or typical for ALL elements of the U.S. ruling class. It’s just been this way for the past decade or so, and getting worse all of the time, because of this 21st Century Cabal.

When allowing ourselves the luxury of a look back, we have in fact had some very good statesmen, and professional diplomats who have quitely done their work, which is maintaining cooperative relationships with ALL of the other governments of the world.

Maybe one day, we can honestly get back to that. I think Barack is probably the most capable (and smart) in recognizing how important that is. More than that, he can make up for in experience, what he has in judgement, in being able to select the right people for that work.

Hillary definitely lost points with me on this very issue. So, I would agree that it’s given him a boost. That’s OK. That’s what these campaigns should ultimately expose, intentionally or otherwise.

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By P. T., July 27, 2007 at 2:08 am Link to this comment

In my view, the refusal to meet with adversaries until they surrender unilaterally is used by elements of the U.S. ruling class to stir up tension and manipulate public opinion.

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