EASY READING CULTURE OF LIFE NEWS: NYT AND WP TRY TO EXCUSE OR MINIMIZE TORTURE « Culture of Life News 2
The torture memos are filled to the brim with great stuff, things that would make any good Nazi very proud. I am doing a second video of the memos, not about the tortured children this time. So I won’t be quite so angry. The NYT and WP have a difficult task: they have to minimize the memos while at the same time, twisting and turning in the hopes of convincing us all, it is OK to torture and invade all Muslim lands with utter impunity because they are evil and we are good.
First, here is the ‘liberal’ NYT:
Yet some doctors and ethicists insist that any participation by physicians was tantamount to complicity in torture.
No kidding. When we use the word ‘some’, this denotes a distinct minority. This is presuming the vast majority of doctors and ‘ethicists’ think using doctors and psychologists to torture people is OK.
Ethics isn’t about doing ‘whatever’. It sets up guidelines and rules that determine morality. The plasticity of morals is very stretchy like rubber bands. For example, Hitler and his gang made all their actions perfectly legal and even, moral. The goal: to clean the German people of all social deviants and to strengthen the patriotic state by encouraging the growth and power of one ethnic group.
We are witnessing the Jewish imitation of this odious ethics. It is no surprise to me that the same word for morals is the same word for ethnic tribal groups. What the tribe wishes is moral. This includes killing non-tribal members and looting, warfare and rapine is all rendered moral due to it being done by a tribe against all others. Lawbreaking is intra-tribal: if you loot, rape or kill tribal members, this is wrong. “I don’t think we had any idea doctors were involved to this extent, and it will shock most physicians,” said George Annas, a professor of health law, bioethics and human rights at Boston University.
ALL torture systems that are run by religions and states always uses doctors! This is UNIVERSAL. The Khmer Rouge didn’t use doctors because they were simply working everyone to death and did this with very little discrimination. They were not seeking information.
Throughout history, torturers working for the state always wanted to keep victims alive as much as humanly possible. The only escape for a prisoner was death. This is why we are force-feeding, with tremendous brutality, the prisoners we hold, including prisoners we kidnapped when they were only 14 year old CHILDREN…sigh…always the children come into view here…we keep them alive so we can abuse them.
If they die, they win. In the Spanish Inquisition, they kept prisoners alive for a very long time. The Church even had many rules about degrees of torture and hours tortured. In 1256, after priests who were torturing people complained about how victims were dying without confessing their sins, Pope Alexander IV issued torture rules: They could torture a victim only ONCE. And confession under torture was not allowed. The victim had to be released from pain and then confess.
The Dominicans then got around the rules by torturing CONSTANTLY, in shifts! As word got out, a great time could be had for any and all psychopaths, they ran to join the Dominican order which grew swiftly. Here is the modern Catholic Church giving a ringing endorsement for torture:
- It was a heavy burden of responsibility — almost too heavy for a common mortal — which fell upon the shoulders of an inquisitor, who was obliged, at least indirectly, to decide between life and death. The Church was bound to insist that he should possess, in a pre-eminant degree, the qualities of a good judge; that he should be animated with a glowing zeal for the Faith,–exactly like the Nazis or the KGB, the CIA or Mossad!— the salvation of souls,–‘this is for your own good, that you are being tortured’— and the extirpation of heresy;–anyone who disagrees with any of the beliefs of the gang are to be tortured particularly brutally—that amid all difficulties and dangers he should never yield to anger or passion;—the very definition of a psychopath—that he should meet hostility fearlessly,—especially while torturing or raping children—but should not court it; that he should yield to no inducement or threat, and yet not be heartless;—anyone who tortures anything is by definition, heartless— that, when circumstances permitted, he should observe mercy in allotting penalties; that he should listen to the counsel of others, and not trust too much to his own opinion or to appearances,—THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: since often the probable is untrue, and the truth improbable. All human groups want a belief system that is exclusive and refuses to accept any or all proofs to the contrary. People who think they ‘know everything’ are the hardest to deal with if we bring in logic and rationality into the conversation. Mostly, they get mad and leave or if they have power, will try to impose their world views via brute force. All groups do this. Small groups opposing states do this. All religions do this, all the time. Rational thinking is anathema to many belief systems.
- Somewhat thus did Bernard Gui (or Guldonis) and Eymeric, both of them inquisitors for years, describe the ideal inquisitor. Of such an inquisitor also was Gregory IX doubtlessly thinking when he urged Conrad of Marburg: “ut puniatur sic temeritas perversorum quod innocentiae puritas non laedatur” — i.e., “not to punish the wicked so as to hurt the innocent”. History shows us how far the inquisitors answered to this ideal.—Incredible! Yes, we use the Catholic Inquisition as the perfect example of amoral viciousness. Far from being inhuman, they were, as a rule, men of spotless character and sometimes of truly admirable sanctity, and not a few of them have been canonized by the Church. This is a crime. The Church should apologize to the souls of the many dead who were tortured and then burned at the stake. And the ‘canonized’ are living in hell if there is any Jesus who was tortured to death. I cannot even begin to imagine a Jesus that would want any of these psychopaths into ‘Heaven’. He would retch with disgust after reading their life history while they wait for judgement from the Tortured God-human. There is absolutely no reason to look on the medieval ecclesiastical judge as intellectually and morally inferior to the modern judge.
A number of Nazi judges were found guilty and executed at the Nüremberg Trials. The Nazis legalized all their hideous things they did. They were outraged to learn, all this was still amoral and utterly illegal.
Annas said the use of doctors to monitor prisoners subjected to torture is “totally unethical” and has been condemned by the American and World Medical Associations, among other professional bodies. “In terms of ethics, it’s not even a close call,” he said.
Correct. Steven H. Miles, a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota and author of “Oath Betrayed: America’s Torture Doctors,” said the actions described in the memos were the “kind of stuff that doctors have been tried, convicted and imprisoned for in other countries — and that’s what should happen here.” But Michael Gross, a professor at the University of Haifa in Israel and the author of “Bioethics and Armed Conflict: Moral Dilemmas of Medicine and Warfare,” said that if physicians think particular harsh interrogation techniques do not constitute torture, there is no reason they should not participate.
Note how the Israeli Jew finds a nifty legal excuse to participate in torture: if a person JUDGES they are not torturing, they are not torturing! This is EXACTLY what the Nazis claimed. The fact that JEWS are claiming the same thing [and torturing children, too] is grounds for divorcing our nation from that terrible state and to examine our own selves in a very clean mirror. We are a criminal state, too. “Physicians are faced with a hard dilemma,” he said. “They have professional obligations to do no harm, but they also have a duty as a citizen to provide expertise to their government when the national security is at stake. In a national security crisis, I believe our duties as citizens take precedence.”
The Nazis, when they came into power, were instantly attacked by the international Jewish financial powers. American and British Jews immediately demanded a boycott of Germany. So, the Germans pointed to all this and said, ‘See? They are aliens and they wish to overthrow a DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT.’ This was all before the Reichstag fire.
Any and all other ethnic groups and religions that are not in power can be claimed to be ‘traitors’ and thus, tortured to death. We have a government that has many traitors. They put Israel first. And this is wrong. Putting Mexico first or putting China first, etc, is all utterly wrong. And leads to treason if the parties then use our government to manipulate it into supporting their favorite alien state while destroying the US, itself.
The Jews in Israel will only allow ‘echt-Juden’ to immigrate into their military state. They then must torment the natives so they either die or leave. And we support this financially, militarily and MORALLY. I was and very much still am 100% against allowing Opus Dei Catholics onto the Supreme Court bench because the Opus Dei supports the Pope and the Pope [who is now a Nazi!] supports and still endorses, torture.
And our courts now ape the Catholic Church. And this is 100% infuriating. We are losing our most basic civil rights thanks to these guys.
Similarly, the medievalinquisitors should be judged as a whole. Moreover, history does not justify the hypothesis that the medieval heretics were prodigies of virtue, deserving our sympathy in advance.
The Mother Church is utterly and repugnantly unrepentant! The people who were tortured and burned as heretics and witches were BAD people. See? They were evil because they denied the Church all worldly power and rule over the Cave of Wealth and Death! Obviously, all Jews who converted due to military force were always suspect of backsliding [about one quarter of Spain’s population!] and needed ‘instruction’. Here is the Teacher at work:
This regularly began with a month’s “term of grace”, proclaimed by the inquisitor whenever he came to a heresy-ridden district. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! The inhabitants were summoned to appear before the inquisitor. On those who confessed of their own accord a suitablepenance (e.g. a pilgrimage) was imposed, but never a severe punishment like incarceration or surrender to the civil power. The Mother Church never burned anyone at the stake. They would hand over the victims to the blood-thirsty authorities who also confiscated all properties and divided the spoil with the Church.
However, these relations with the residents of a place often furnished important indications,—Like we do today in all Muslim lands: we pay informants— pointed out the proper quarter for investigation, and sometimes much evidence was thus obtained against individuals. Many of the CIA rendition victims were bought in this fashion. These were then cited before the judges — usually by the parish priest, although occasionally by the secular authorities — and the trial began. If the accused at once made full and free confession, the affair was soon concluded, and not to the disadvantage of the accused. But in most instances the accused entered denial even after swearing on the Four Gospels, and this denial was stubborn in the measure that the testimony was incriminating. David of Augsburg (cf. Preger, “Der Traktat des David von Augshurg uber die Waldenser”, Munich, 1878 pp. 43 sqq.) pointed out to the inquisitor four methods of extracting open acknowledgment:
- fear of death, i.e. by giving the accused to understand that the stake awaited him if he would not confess; The CIA torture memos mention ‘scaring the prisoners with the fear of death’.
- more or less close confinement, possibly emphasized by curtailment of food; EXACTLY what the CIA did!
- visits of tried men, who would attempt to induce free confession through friendly persuasion;
- torture, which will be discussed below. The OSS took in Nazis and used them to learn how we can ape the Nazi torture machine. Then, when Russia fell, we sucked into our system a number of KGB agents. And then there is Mossad: filled to the gills, in the black ops and torture area, with former communist KGB agents. Many of the torture protocols came straight out of Moscow via Tel Aviv.
To this day, the Catholic Church refuses adamantly to admit any wrongdoing. This is why I want an international tribunal of non-Catholics to be called in to judge history here and then, issue a condemnation of the Church. Perhaps the Pope can be beaten with whips in front of the Altar in the Vatican. We can televise it and then, the Pope can also apologize for the rape and torture of children by clergy, too.
Had this papal legislation been adhered to in practice, the historian of the Inquisition would have fewer difficulties to satisfy. In the beginning,–the Catholic Church still refuses to understand that once they decided to torture people, they attracted more and more psychopaths who did it with greater and greater sexual deviancy and lust—torture was held to be so odious that clerics were forbidden to be present under pain of irregularity. Sometimes it had to be interrupted so as to enable the inquisitor to continue his examination, which, of course, was attended by numerous inconveniences. HAHAHA. Yeah, the tormented victim refused to recant and thus, inconvenienced the Church! Therefore on 27 April, 1260, Alexander IV authorized inquisitors to absolve one another of this irregularity. Urban IVon 2 August, 1262, renewed the permission, and this was soon interpreted as formal licence to continue the examination in the torture chamber itself.
This is called ‘the steep slope down’. This is why Obama’s refusal to prosecute BUSH and CHENEY as well as YOO and the other amoral, anti-constitutional creeps is DANGEROUS. Every single torturer is STILL AT WORK TODAY. Will they cease?
Hell no! If we accept this, we must first apologize to Germany and Japan for executing their own miserable war criminals.
The inquisitors manuals faithfully noted and approved this usage. HAHAHA. Yup. The general rule ran that torture was to be resorted to only once. But this was sometimes circumvented — first, by assuming that with every new piece of evidence the rack could be utilized afresh, and secondly, by imposing fresh torments on the poor victim (often on different days), not by way of repetition, but as a continuation (non ad modum iterationis sed continuationis), as defended by Eymeric; “quia, iterari non debent [tormenta], nisi novis supervenitibus indiciis, continuari non prohibentur.” But what was to be done when the accused, released from the rack, denied what he had just confessed?
This is why the Church feared releasing people from the rack or the US fears releasing our own Inquisition victims: they go free, they can speak the truth. Worse, if they go free, they can FIGHT BACK. We want them to surrender, forever.
Worse, we can’t even have OPEN TRIALS because then, they can openly talk about torture! So we have SECRET TRIALS which is what the Church resorted to after the very wonderful and amazing and brave warrior, JOAN OF ARC did! They tortured her and then held a public trial…BRIEFLY. Then, they swiftly moved it inside because this peasant girl, who was a genius, could counter-argue the top Church lawyers!
She presented her case, clearly and cooly and this was a grave challenge to the Church since she claimed, Jesus was on her side, not on the Catholic psychopath’s side. Then, they rushed her burning and didn’t let her talk except she cried, ‘Jesus!’ over and over as she died and many who witnessed this murder were very moved. The lowly town priest gathered up some of the ashes and spirited them away. Many were weeping and saying, ‘She is a saint!’ Gah.
Now, for the Washington Post’s warmongering, nasty business:
This blog at the Washington Post is hosted by a Professor Peter Feaver. I clicked on Peter’s ‘profile’ to see who this jerk really is. Guess what? He is ANONYMOUS. Just a name! No information of where he used to work…the CIA is heavily involved in infiltrating the US and foreign media like the BBC. And Mossad does this even more. Peter could be both.
I did find his Peter D. Feaver – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia entry:
- Peter D. Feaver is a professor of political science at Duke University and director of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies. He recently returned from a sabbatical in the Bush administration, as a special advisor for strategic planning and institutional reform on the National Security Council.
- Feaver earned his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University and his undergraduate degree from Lehigh University. Feaver also served as Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. He is also a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Here is Peter’s take:
President Obama’s decision to release the so-called—this MONSTER dares to call these OBVIOUS documents that OBVIOUSLY details REAL OBVIOUS torture, ‘so-called’????— torture memos, over the strenuous objections of many of the senior national security and intelligence professionals, may go down in history as one of the most consequential of his first 100 days. The ONLY good thing he has done so far! The former Director of the CIA Michael Hayden and the former Attorney General Michael Mukasey argue strenuously that it was a mistake, and that it will hurt U.S. efforts to combat terrorism. There seem to be two principal objections to the Obama decision. One is that the release of the memos “tips our hand” to terrorists so that they can better prepare against interrogation techniques. When they know our methods precisely, they can better develop counters to them. I think there is something to this concern, but only so much; presumably, one can develop counter-techniques to the counters, and so on, and so on. Even people who know exactly what they are getting into and exactly how far the interrogator will go, report that some techniques like water-boarding are so effective that there is essentially no plausible counter.
Aren’t they pleased about THAT!!!! Good gods. This is why all civilized nations OUTLAW waterboarding torture. Just like, we can’t pull fingernails with pliers.
I am far more persuaded by the second objection: that the release of the memos will spur further witch-hunts–So, is this creepy professor claiming the Nüremberg Trials was really ‘witch hunting’?— which will produce an over-cautious intelligence and national security establishment. No one ever accused the Gestapo or the KGB of being ‘over-cautious’. President Obama worried about this, and that is why he took pains to say he would not prosecute intelligence professionals who acted on the basis and within the limits of the guidance in these memos. BUT WE CAN AND SHOULD PROSECUTE THE MEMO WRITERS! But he left open the door to go after those who went beyond the memos, and that, of course, legitimizes more fact-finding to determine exactly what was done by whom. What is ‘going beyond’ mean in this context? The original memo premises are utterly illegal, internationally as well as Constitutionally. That is how Senator Leahy, who is keen to conduct such investigations, read Obama’s statement. But, as Hayden and Mukasey remind us, the bureaucratic response to such open-ended investigations is predictable: national security professionals will be even more cautious and even more reluctant to act going forward. Will such hesitation put America at risk? Candidate Obama repeatedly said that Bush policies made America less safe. If there is another terrorist attack, and if that attack can be traced to government failures due to an over-abundance of hesitation, will the charge apply to President Obama as well?
THE USSR WAS ‘SAFE’!!! No one could so much as make a peep without the KGB coming knocking on the door in the middle of the night! All police states are ‘safe’. This is the DEFINITION of a police state. Not a free society. We accept dangers and difficulties, all in the name of being free. Freedom doesn’t mean, living in a jail cell that locks the rest of the world out.
The US can’t be a beacon of freedom and a police state. End of story. The US was attacked on 9/11 because our Pentagon goofed off. Normally, when a stewardess calls American Airlines headquarters, yelling, ‘A man just sliced the throat of one of the passengers and now are breaking into the cockpit’ and then NOTHING HAPPENS NEXT.
Normally, a huge number of US military jets takes off and takes action. Instead, we saw them goof off, not for 5 minutes or 10 minutes but AN HOUR. And only after a jet hit the Pentagon, itself, did the military stir. This is treason, of course. There was no excuse and no investigation and Rumsfeld wasn’t even fired for incompetence.
To show how these creeps writing for the Washington Post operate, here is a paper done by Col. Dunlap which Peter uses for his college course syllabus:
Prepared for the Humanitarian Challenges in Military Intervention Conference at Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University Washington, D.C., November 29, 2001 by Colonel Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., USAF*
Is lawfare turning warfare into unfair? God, we can’t stop using Mongol eradication of all populations tactics? Rats! In other words, is international law undercutting the ability of the U.S. to conduct effective military interventions? Obviously, this Neue Zeit Krieg Colonel wishes there were no rules at all. Of course, this means that we had no legal right to try the Nazis or the Japanese warlords. Is it becoming a vehicle to exploit American values in ways that actually increase risks to civilians? We show no mercy towards civilians anymore, do we? In short, is law becoming more of the problem in modern war instead of part of the solution?
This is where the military moves towards WWIII and the logic of murdering all pesky Muslims by killing EVERY Muslim via nuclear bombs.
Some experts seem to think so. In his Foreign Affairs review of General Wesley Clark’s fascinating book on the Balkan war, Professor Richard K. Betts laments the role law and lawyers played in that campaign as well as military interventions generally. First, kill all lawyers! He asserts that the “hyperlegalism applied to NATO’s campaign made the conflict reminiscent of the quaint norms of premodern war.” Further, he alleges that lawyers “constrained even the preparations for decisive combat” and declares:
One of the most striking features of the Kosovo campaign, in fact, was the remarkably direct role lawyers played in managing combat operations – to a degree unprecedented in previous wars…. The role played by lawyers in this war should also be sobering – indeed alarming – for devotees of power politics who denigrate the impact of law on international conflict….NATO’s lawyers…became in effect, its tactical commanders…
The CIA gave directions for one missile that very neatly blew up the Chinese embassy and killed everyone. The Chinese have not forgotten this, oh no, they certainly haven’t.
International lawyers David Riviken and Lee Casey express a somewhat different but darker view in a recent issue of The National Interest. They contend that a “new” kind of international law is emerging that is “profoundly undemocratic at its core” Why is imposing civilized rules on warfare ‘undemocratic’? Is this because, after rancid hate campaigns run by governments and the media, people vote for Herr Hitler and the Nazis? And this is ‘democracy’, no? —-and “has the potential to undermine American leadership in the post-Cold War global system.” With respect to armed interventions, Riviken and Casey insist that the “American military is particularly vulnerable” because of the “unrealistic norms” –
- especially in relation to collateral damage – propounded by the advocates of this new international law. “If the trends of international law are allowed to mature into binding rules,” they say, “international law may become one of the most potent weapons ever deployed against the United States.”Professor Betts, and perhaps to a lesser extent Messers Riviken and Casey, might find comfort in my conclusion about Operation Allied Force. I believe the air campaign against Kosovo and Serbia may represent something of a high-water mark of the influence of international law in military interventions, at least in the near term. The aftermath of that conflict, along with the repercussions of the terrible events of September 11th, seem to have set in motion forces that will diminish the role of law (if not lawyers themselves) much beyond the hyperlegalisms to which Betts objects. Explaining why I make this prediction is a prime purpose of the following discussion….
In other words, in Kosovo, where we bombed civilian facilities, bridges, etc as well as utterly illegally bombing the Chinese embassy, was ‘restricted’. But now we can be as vicious as we like, thanks to the US military being utterly asleep at the wheel for over an hour while terrorists merrily flew all over the place, attacking us.
Many NGOs are wonderful, philanthropic groups who do selfless, difficult work in dangerous places. However, Americans are inclined to be wary those NGOs who purport to speak – literally – for the “world” on political issues, to include LOAC ones.
Damn the busybodies of the Red Cross and Human Rights organizers! The Soviet State hated them, too.
Too often NGO positions look like political agendas. ‘Political’ here is code for ‘liberals’. With respect to LOAC issues, it must always be kept in mind that NGOs are not political entities equivalent to a sovereign nation; rather, they are no more thanself-selected, idiosyncratic interest groups who are not accountable to any ballot box. In my opinion these facts get lost at times – to the detriment of LOAC development and interpretation.
I don’t recall any elections for the Red Cross! Of course, organizations that monitor human rights are ‘self selected’ because Nazis and KGB and CIA agents certainly can’t present themselves as lovers of human rights! They are the ones being investigated.
The pacifist and leftist leanings of a lot of NGOs, along with organizational practices that unabashedly discriminate on the basis of national origin,–note this Zionist tool doesn’t dare mention who or why– do not popularize the groups in the United States. Alas, torture and assassinations are very popular inside our imperium. Along this line we also must frankly acknowledge there is an undeniable element of anti-Americanism in international law as it is developing today. Torture, illegal invasions on false intelligence are very Nazi so we love it, eh? Riviken and Casey argue quite persuasively that “the impetus in international law today stems from both our allies and our adversaries, who have chosen to use it as a means to check, or at least harness, American power.”
Any empire that does torture, kidnapping, assassinations and illegal, spurious invasions, hates having its power ‘checked’ or ‘harnessed.’
This may be the real reason for the incessant criticism of U.S. positions that marks so much of the debate in the international legal community.
I hope, if Peter is teaching this guy’s crap, he is hammering this as evil and wrong! But somehow, I doubt this.
Another factor influential to the rise of LOAC is the Information Revolution. It spawned high-tech global news organizations that rapidly deliver information – to include graphic images of war – to publics everywhere. I have watched the sanitization of war via our lovely media. And of course, the censorship of all crimes committed by Israeli forces has collapsed, thanks to the internet. This is particularly important whenconsidered in conjunction with another attribute of the information age: the spread of democracy. Shaped by raw news footage, public perceptions of how conflicts are being fought significantly affect military interventions.
And a good thing, too! If only we had the internet during WWI.
Professors W. Michael Reisman and Chris T. Antoniou insist: In modern popular democracies, even a limited armed conflict requires a substantial base of public support. That support can erode or even reverse itself rapidly, no matter how worthy the political objective, if people believe that the war is being conducted in an unfair, inhumane, or iniquitous way. …
Viva propaganda! Yes, give the right images and war support will remain no matter how odious the things are, in reality.
In this sense lawfare–I love how the right wing military creeps view laws: as impediments to superior firepower and winning wars via killing as many civilians as possible— has a firm basis in Clausewitzean analysis. Carl von Clausewitz, the great military theorist, spoke of a “remarkable trinity” of the people, the government, and the military whose combined energies produce victory in war. Belligerents attempt to impose the converse on their adversaries, that is, the deconstruction of Clausewitz’s trinity. The traditional U.S. approach to accomplishing that – and the one LOAC endorses – focuses on the military element and seeks to diminish the enemy’s armed strength.
Usually, this involves tormenting civilians.
America’s challengers focus on the people element and seek to diminish the strength of their support for the military effort.
WHOA! Much of the criticism is INTERNAL. We had massive anti-Iraq war demonstrations before the invasion. We gave all the good reasons to not invade, clearly and coherently. Too bad, our rulers refused to listen and the media refused to cover much, if any of the news about our demonstrations.
Evidence shows this technique can work. The Vietnam War – where U.S. forces never suffered a true military defeat – is the archetype that today’s adversaries repeatedly try to replicate. Of course, they hope to use the vastly accelerated news cycle to achieve success far more rapidly and at much less cost than did the Vietnamese. If they can make the American electorate believe, as Reisman and Antoniou put it, that the “war is being conducted in an unfair, inhumane, or iniquitous way” necessary public backing might collapse. Even if U.S. public opinion is unwavering – as it appears to be with respect to the current war on terrorism19 – the cooperation of coalition governments nevertheless might weaken if their people become disenchanted with the way armed force is being used.20 This is especially problematic for the Air Force if it results in the denial of vital basing and overflight rights….
I found Fareed Zakaria’s latest apologia on behalf of President Obama even more underwhelming than Chris Brose did. Fareed is a very important mainstream foreign policy pundit, so when he criticizes the mainstream, my interest is piqued. As a professor, I can attest that he also has great appeal with the rising generation, and he gets fawning treatment from seemingly the one media mogul in America who can make or break public figures: Jon Stewart. As the second-most frequent guest on the Daily Show, Fareed is a major public figure and probably the closest thing we have to a post-modern Walter Lippmann. (Full disclosure: he is also an old friend from graduate student days).
So I was disappointed to find that Fareed stuck to hackneyed critiques of the Bush foreign policy — a critique that was so cartoonish that a pundit as insightful as Fareed Zakaria could easily demolish it.
There was absolutely NOTHING in Bush’s Presidency even remotely good. Nothing at all. Nixon signed bills like the Clean Air Act. He did many good things along with utterly odious things.
Bush has NONE of this! All was bad, from top to bottom. Bush bankrupted America thanks to wild military spending, sitting and reading ‘The Pet Goat’ while Americans were jumping to their deaths and the military sat on their fat asses. Bush ended up alienating nearly all our allies, allowing the Israeli Jews stomp on barely armed civilians trapped in a tiny ghetto, etc. Nothing good to see here, at all.
Undeniably, the Bush administration made mistakes in foreign policy — mistakes of policy development, mistakes of policy execution, and mistakes of personnel and process. But President Bush got a lot of things right, a lot more than the conventional wisdom Fareed celebrates in this piece admits. And, importantly, Bush was sometimes right when the chorus of critics was wrong. Shouldn’t we be glad that in late 2006 President Bush decided for this and not for this?
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