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The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

By John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt
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Tag: Barack Obama

The End of the Middle Class as We Know It

This is how it ends. Or at least, this is how the latest, sad chapter in a story that has been ending for three decades is written.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


obama
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Obama’s Hallmark Moment

President Barack Obama addressed a crowd in Missouri on Wednesday, stating he’s “pleased … but not satisfied” with his first 100 days in office and he’s eager to get beyond this “Hallmark holiday” in order to focus on the challenges that lie ahead.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Toes the Liberal Line

President Obama may be sounding a positive note about his first 100 days, but there are others who beg to differ for various reasons. Take this analysis by Andrew J. Bacevich in The Boston Globe, for example, in which Bacevich points to some problematic aspects of American liberalism that Obama seems more than willing to uphold.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Disclosure of ‘Secrets’ in the ’70s Didn’t Destroy the Nation

Back in the Watergate era, the Senate’s Church Committee exposed government abuses. Of course some people tried to block its work. You may have heard of a couple of them—Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE



Left: Flickr / realjameso16; right: World Economic Forum

Special Frenemies

President Obama and newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have their first meeting in a few weeks, a test of the special relationship between two countries that are now led by men with very different ideas about how to pursue peace in the Middle East.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Sebelius at Last

Just in time for swine flu, the Senate has confirmed Barack Obama’s pick to head the massive Health and Human Services Department, Kathleen Sebelius. Democrats were able to use the health scare to shake the upper chamber out of abortion-obsessed confirmation gridlock.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Specter Comes Full Circle

When Arlen Specter ran for Philadelphia district attorney in 1965, he proudly proclaimed himself a “Kennedy Democrat,” but said he was running as a Republican to take on what he saw as the corruption of the city’s then-legendary Democratic machine. Forty-four years later, Arlen Specter has come full circle.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Enough With This ‘100 Days’ Nonsense

On what basis have the cable channels decided that President Obama’s first hundred days are the most important thing to happen in the history of the world? As in the case of FDR before him, much has happened in the beginning of the president’s first term—and there is much more to come.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Model for an Accounting

History demands an investigation into U.S. torture. We have a contemporary model for how to conduct a politically sensitive inquiry properly, without undue theatrics and with respect for classified information. It is the 9/11 commission.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Has Missed His Moment

The president had a fleeting moment to challenge the casino capitalism and financial recklessness of our economic and political elite. He could have orchestrated a state socialism that would have provided a safety net for tens of millions of Americans faced with dislocation and misery.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


What to Make of the Ironic Mr. Obama

How many ironies can a single presidency engender? A cool man who has aroused both warm feelings of affection and a fiery opposition, Obama is seen as too moderate by parts of the left, but the right thinks he has a radical statist agenda.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / be_khe

U.S. Declares Swine Flu Emergency

The administration is taking the threat of swine flu seriously, as congressional Republicans’ main interest in the health arena seems to be roping the president’s nominee to head Health and Human Services into an abortion fight. The Centers for Disease Control and the Homeland Security Department issued an emergency declaration Sunday, while the World Health Organization and governments around the globe scrambled to confront the potential crisis.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE


Bill Maher on GOP Drama

The “Real Time” host marvels at Republican rage in the era of Obama: “The conservative base these days is absolutely apoplectic because ... well, nobody knows.”

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Stuck Between a Turk and an Armenian, So to Speak

President Obama over the weekend commemorated the 1915 murder of over a million Armenians without using the word genocide, a term he had used during the presidential campaign in speaking of the slaughter. The word from the lips of the U.S. president would have angered Turkey at a time when relations between Washington and Ankara are going so well. In the end, Obama’s rhetorical gifts were not enough to keep outraged Armenian-Americans from taking to the streets.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE


Clinton
AP photo / Marko Drobnjakovic

Clinton Signals Support for Iraq During Baghdad Visit

Arriving soon after the deadliest suicide bombings in the last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her first visit to Iraq in her new position, assuring Iraqis in Baghdad that they have the United States’ continued support despite the Obama administration’s focus on Afghanistan and talk of troop withdrawal.

Posted on Apr 25, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Torture, Credit Cards and Chrysler

Even Fox News’ Shep Smith said it: America doesn’t torture ... although the recently released set of torture memos belies that declaration. Meanwhile, President Obama’s none too pleased with credit card companies, and Chrysler has hit the skids. Was there any good news this week? Tony Blankley thinks so.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Abu Gharib
smh.com.au

U.S. to Release More Torture Photos

After a series of denials by the Bush administration, the Obama administration has decided it will give in to demands by human rights groups and release up to 2,000 pictures of “prisoner abuse” (torture) to the public by May 28.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Is a Crime, and Crimes Demand Prosecution

Obama wants to avoid a long, wrenching legal drama that almost certainly would be partisan and divisive. But I’m not sure it’s possible to skirt the criminal implications of what we already know.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


News Flash: Populism Is Popular

Both parties are suddenly listening to “the people” instead of the Establishment. They know the political class, however offended, can no longer stop a voter backlash.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Europe Needs No Part in Doomed Afghan War

If Obama had wanted to give the NATO allies prudent advice about how to avoid terrorist attacks, he should have told them to have nothing to do with the American war on terror, even if it is now under Obama management.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Eric Holder
theblacksentinel.wordpress.com

Holder Says He Will Pursue Torture Wrongdoing

What to make of the administration’s policy on holding torturers accountable? Attorney General Eric Holder says he “will not permit the criminalization of policy differences,” but will pursue wrongdoing “to the full extent of the law.” The problem here is that when it comes to torture, policy differences just might be criminal.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


‘Reform’ With No Reform

The defenders of the health care status quo have been frantically arguing these past few weeks that any coming reform of the health insurance system cannot include a public insurance plan, even if that’s the whole point.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Stop Thinking About Yesterday’s Health Care Debate

Because of the defeat of health care reform in 1994, there will be a temptation to treat every dispute as the first step toward the collapse of the process, ignoring the fact that times and minds change.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / National Archives

Reagan and Nixon Greeted Despots, Too

Few aspects of American politics are as ridiculous and dangerous as the right-wing urge to substitute macho posturing for foreign policy.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

John McCain for Anti-Torture Czar?

If the president is so worried that prosecutions of America’s torturers and torture-enablers could feel like a partisan witch hunt, why not turn to a Republican with firsthand experience in being tortured?

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

There’s Gold in Them Waves

President Obama outlined a plan on Earth Day to lease federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf for wind and tidal power projects. Speaking at a turbine factory, Obama said wind could generate 20 percent of the nation’s electricity.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE


TARP hearing
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Thievery Under the TARP

We are being robbed big-time, but you can’t say we haven’t been warned. Not after the release Tuesday of a scathing report by the Treasury Department’s special inspector general, who charged that the aptly named Troubled Asset Relief Program is rife with mismanagement and potential for fraud.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE


Torturers Should Be Punished

The door to bringing torturers to justice is open only a crack. Whether it is kicked open or slammed shut is not up to the president. Though he may occupy the most powerful office on Earth, there is a force more powerful: committed people demanding change.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


When Fascism Came to America

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, the first American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, wrote a novel entitled “It Can’t Happen Here” to influence the 1936 presidential election. He was off by about 66 years.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Elizabeth Williams

15 or Not, Alleged Pirate Will Be Tried as Adult

Whether or not Abduwali Abukhadir Muse is 15, as his father claims, he will be tried in New York as an adult for his alleged role in holding an American ship captain as a hostage. Muse’s mother, on the other side of the world, has asked President Obama for mercy, or to at least let her be with her son.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Committee OKs Sebelius Over Republican Objections

President Obama presided over his first formal Cabinet meeting Monday with a rather important chair left empty. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Obama’s pick to head the $750 billion Health and Human Services Department and spearhead his ambitious health care reform initiatives, has finally made it out of hearings and should be approved by the end of the week.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama: Justice Could Prosecute Torture Lawyers

Responding to reporters Tuesday, the president walked back from his “torture is a thing of the past” policy. While the administration still doesn’t want to hassle the good Germans who carried out torture, or even the superiors who ordered it, Obama said the Justice Department may go after the Bush lawyers who tried to legalize such abuses.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


Decisions Decisions

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Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE    


Bybee Must Go

It is astonishing that someone who has proved in his memos to be so lacking in judgment and so ideologically twisted in his reasoning that he laid a blanket of legal immunity over those who wanted to torture now holds one of the most powerful and prestigious seats a lawyer can attain.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

When Slapped, Slap Back

(Editor’s note: Eugene Robinson is the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary.) It’s hard to argue with the results thus far from President Obama’s “no drama” approach to governing, but I think he should learn to chew a little scenery when the occasion demands.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


handshake
thinkprogress.org

On Handshakes Past and Present

Certain right-wingers are really upset (!) at President Obama for shaking Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s hand at the Summit of the Americas last weekend, because shaking hands with enemies indicates weakness and is just not done, you see ... with a few notable exceptions.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Stands Nuremberg on Its Head

President Obama’s decision to spare CIA torturers from prosecution stands the Nuremberg principles on their head. “Good Germans who were only following orders” are not exempt from the bar of justice. Individuals must be held responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Nam Y. Huh

Where’s Rev. Wright When You Need Him?

Israel and the United States will together boycott the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Geneva. Racism, an endemic feature of Israeli and American society, is not, we have decided, open for international inspection. It’s times like this President Obama would do well to heed the sermons of his former pastor.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



NASA / U.S. Treasury

Treasury Covers for Stingy Banks

President Obama has said he doesn’t want public money going into a “black hole,” but his administration’s bank bailout looks more and more like an abyss of cosmic proportions. Not only are the bailed-out banks lending less than before, the Treasury Department appears to be engaging in creative math to obscure the gravity of the situation.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


Doing Nothing

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Posted on Apr 19, 2009 READ MORE    



Wikimedia Commons

The 183rd Time’s the Charm

Was it for information or revenge that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who claimed to be the mastermind behind 9/11, was waterboarded 183 times by the CIA? That figure, sussed out of a Justice Department memo by some enterprising bloggers and repeated in the pages of The New York Times, makes the president’s determination not to prosecute such torture all the more curious.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009 READ MORE


Who Will Face Down the Gun Lobby?

Ten years after the Columbine massacre, our president stood in Mexico, where assault rifles from the U.S. are used to murder police officers, and said the American gun lobby is just too strong for him push a rational gun regulation through Congress. How sad.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009 READ MORE


netanyahu

Mosaic: What’s Netanyahu’s Deal?

It hasn’t taken Benjamin Netanyahu long to show his true colors by creating new hoops for the Palestinians to jump through in order to resume peace negotiations with Israel. This week’s “Mosaic Intelligence Report” has the story.

Posted on Apr 18, 2009 READ MORE


Saberi
a.abcnews.com

American Journalist Gets 8-Year Jail Sentence in Iran

In a move that strains the already delicate ties between Tehran and Washington, Iran has sentenced Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi to eight years in jail for allegedly spying for the U.S. government.

Posted on Apr 18, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and Chavez
AP photo / Marianna Kambon, Summit of the Americas pool

Obama Seeks ‘New Beginning’ With Cuba

Could it be that diplomacy works better than a my-way-or-the-highway approach when dealing with adversarial nations? Judging by President Obama’s apparent progress with the Cuban government, the answer would seem to be yes.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Gitmo Stretcher
guardian.co.uk

A Decision Not to Prosecute

After key Bush era CIA torture documents were released by the Obama administration, human rights officials are dismayed at the news that CIA agents who ordered and conducted torture will not be prosecuted.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Ahn Young-joon

Up, Up and Away: The West’s Hysterical Reaction to North Korea

North Korea has come under strong international criticism and sanctions for its missile launch, but as a signatory to the 1966 Outer Space Treaty, it is legally permitted to pursue space launch activity. Besides, where is the pandemonium when Japan, Pakistan, Israel, India, Russia and the U.S. refine, test and launch their own ballistic missiles?

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Don’t Underestimate the Tea-Baggers

The cool, cerebral White House might logically conclude that Wednesday’s decidedly uncool, uncerebral “tea bag” protests were intellectually and politically incoherent, and therefore not worth a second thought. That would be a dangerous mistake.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE



There’s No Place Like Home, Unless You’re Chris Dodd

Congressional fundraising numbers are in, and the Political Wire has teased out some interesting performances. Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut managed to raise just 0.7 percent of his funds from contributors in his own state—all five of them. Roland Burris, the man appointed by Rod Blagojevich to replace Barack Obama in the Senate, pulled in a whopping $845. He’s $111,032 in debt.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Delusions of Omnipotence

American foreign policy is based not on what we can do, but what Washington wants to do, hence the blunders of Korea, Vietnam and even the Cold War, which the Soviets were kind enough to lose. Even now, the new president is extending the “Long War” on a still more ambitious scale.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


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