Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Robert Nason
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:41 pm

Frank, you may have heard of the recent book by Max Blumenthal (son of Sidney Blumenthal, the apparatchik in the Clinton administration who was charged with the task of smearing Monica Lewinsky, telling the press she was a "stalker," "a liar," and a "nutjob." At least until the stained dress surfaced, rendering all such accusations moot.) Well, Blumenthal fils has written this book called GOLIATH: LIVING AND LOATHING IN ISRAEL (the original title was MASADA but the publisher, Nation Books, nixed that as too provocative) in which he outlined the case for the elimination of the.State of Israel, to be replaced by a "multicultural" (i.e. non-Jewish) state which would incorporate all the Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank, plus a Right of Return for the 7 million or so Palestinians living in exile all over the world (but no more Right of Return for Jews), as well as the 2 million Arabs who already are citizens in Israel. This would of course change the demographics in the Arabs' favor, dramatically alter the ruling bodies, and eliminate any purely "Jewish" characteristics of the state, which will, according to Blumenthal, treat everyone in a fair and.equal way. (At least after the initial waves of bloodshed, as the newly enfranchised Arabs overwhelm and slaughter the now-minority Jewish population, turning them into an even smaller minority. Oops...sorry for my lapse into editorializing there.)

Still, if you think -- based on everything the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular have said and done over the past 100 years and are doing right now -- that the new Arab majority will treat their Jewish minority "fairly" and "equally" and "according to the highest standards of enlightened modern law," well, then there's a bridge here in New York I'd like to sell you.

Eric Alterman, a man of the Left and a Jewish critic of Israel, has written a rejoinder to Blumenthal in his column in The Nation (the same Nation that published Blumenthal's book), asserting that the book is poorly sourced, riddled with error, intellectually vapid, and overall a disgrace as both journalism and polemic. You can find excerpts from Blumenthal's book and Alterman's column on The Nation website.

So yes, there is a civil war (of a minor sort) among American Jews on Israel. But who do you think is winning? If young American Jews are less interested in Israel lately, it's partly because, like most other young Americans, they're more interested in jobs, tweeting, texting, and sending each other selfies than they are in any place thousands of miles away. (Young American Jews.are also influenced by.the barrage of anti-Israel indoctrination they encounter in school and especially the elite universities.). I don't think the left should hope for much support from the Selfie generation. But their narcissism and indifference is certainly troubling to those of us who want not Peace, but real peace in the Middle East that includes a strong, secure Israel.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Robert Nason
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:25 pm

Frank, I clicked on the link you posted, which took me to a "news" story titled "Is Ariel Sharon's Death a Sign to Jesus Christ Returning?" Then you ask why we never hear this reported in the regular media.

The question answers itself.
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:09 pm

Actually Robert, that was me. I was poking my stick in Frank's anthill so to speak.
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Robert Nason
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:36 pm

Ezra, my God -- I saw the post and immediately assumed it was Frank. It didn't even occur to me to check the name at the top. Hats off to you -- I was good and properly snookered.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:47 am

People who are moral get rapped, people who are immoral get rewarded, and you call me crazy.

Blumenthal is da man. He actually talks to Palestinians, unlike Alterman, who rips fellow lefties. Anyone who downplays the evil of Woodrow Wilson deserves nothing but scorn.

Liberals tend to sell out. Alterman may be another Hitchens.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:02 pm

Nason, I would advise you to avoid supporting takedowns of writers given bad reviews by the likes of Breitbart media, Front Page, World Net Daily and their ilk.

Interestingly, the New York Observer liked the book.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:10 pm

This is both cute and very clever. This also explains both Israel and the US foreign policy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQBWGo7pef8

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby DanielBarron » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:10 pm

Church, I'd advise against supporting writers who have received glowing reviews by David Duke and his ilk.

Interestingly, anti-Semitic conspiracist website Veterans Today also liked the book.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:18 am

All this guilt-by-association sounds awfully McCarthyite to me.
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:28 am

FrankChurch wrote:This is both cute and very clever. This also explains both Israel and the US foreign policy.


It does nothing of the kind. The snarky cartoon doesn't even mention Israel, though by its own simplistic logic the US should be on the side of the Arabs, who have the oil. And even when the US toppled Saddam and occupied Iraq, it never took their oil, as the left had never tired of saying it would.
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Moderator » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:14 am

That's a slight misrepresentation of the left's position. The true sentiment was "benefitted significantly" from the Iraqi oil reserves, and there is ample evidence to support this. (No one of a right mind would expect the US to simply to say "gimme" and walk off with the reserves. That's absurd and nobody credible...to my knowledge...ever asserted any such thing.) (On the other hand, ensuring companies could profit from the war always was and is a demonstrable reality.)

(One of the most benefitted companies is Halliburton, which had deep and many would say ethically questionable back room impact on policy.)


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/business/energy-environment/17oil.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:51 am

Bush originally said the war would cost 50 billion and be paid for by restored Iraqi oil revenues. The war, as we all know, cost somewhat north of that and what with one uprising or another, oil revenues never came close to paying anything.

Halliburton read the writing on the sand very well and decided early on that if they were going to make any money at all it would be from infrastructure projects which would be paid for directly out of U.S. discretionary funds---the unclaimed credit card balance so often talked about---and they did fine leaving most of their projects unfinished.

We may or may not have been there for the oil, but Halliburton and its affiliate, KBR, were certainly there for the money.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:25 pm

So it turns out we never got the oil, we never tried to take the oil, we had no intention of taking the oil (we have plenty of oil right here at home but the left doesn't want us to touch that, either); and because Halliburton was the most logical choice to help with the reconstruction, one of the few companies large enough and experienced enough to do the job, and one which the vice oresident knew well from his own tenure there, paranoids and cynics assume the war was launched solely or primarily) to benefit Halliburton. It's a tired old charge right out of the left's moldering playbook, unchanged since they asserted that World War I was started to fill the coffers ofarms merchants "Dealers of Death"). The real causes of nationslism, the Kaiser's will to power, and the intricate tangle of interlocking alliances get moronically swept under the headings of "mere ideology, "superstructure," or "false consciousness." It's rubbish.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:30 pm

Robert,

There's a lot of wiggle room over what was done in Iraq, but the fact is Halliburton was gifted by a no-bid contract, which flew in the face of a long tradition and not a few budget rules, and the graft was monumental. There are some folks still trying to figure out how much money was stolen, and the fact that Cheney had those ties, with a guarantee of future sinecure from them, made it an even more egregious misuse of power. Whether or not we should have gone into Iraq aside, it was a bungle because of under-the-table interests. It did not fail, it was a huge success, just not at what most people thought it should be a success at.

If it's an old charge, that's because there has always been more truth in it than not. John Dos Passos chronicled the abuses of WWI and the moneyed interests in a fine little book called [i]Mr. Wilson's War[/i], which nobody reads anymore because it's ancient history. Whether the moneymen are pushing to get a war going or just on the spot to dip their collective beaks during and afterward is immaterial to the end result. The United States got fucked in Iraq by our own, who somehow couldn't see the mission for all the money they soaked up, much of which is still unaccounted. We were dropping bundles of cash in there to pay the way among the Iraqis, but a good chunk of it never got to the people it was meant for. Private contractors made off with stacks of it, small companies that disappeared afterward, probably absorbed back into a larger entity that had set them up to do exactly that.

This, to me, is the only reasonable way to explain the rampant mismanagement of the whole damn thing. It was, as they say in the military, a clusterfuck, but a great deal of money was made by the private sector through an expression of cronyism as blatant as anything Boss Tweed ever did. I don't care if Halliburton was the "most logical choice" they should have gone through the process like everyone else and they certainly should have been subjected to more oversight than they were. If I sound upset, I am---we were sapped on the head and robbed in an alley over that shithouse mess and it irks me that people feel compelled to make excuses for Bush because, well, he was doing the best he could. I don't actually blame Bush, I blame Cheney. Bush didn't have the wherewithal to be president and his entire tenure was a sad joke. "Hey, I'll vote for him, 'cause I think I could sit down and have a beer with him!" I don't know how many times I heard that, as if that were some kind of a qualification for an office few are suited for and none are prepared for, and which he won by cheating (the first time). After 9/11 he had the entire world on his side and he squandered all that good will by acting like a schoolyard bully.

Iraq was ill-advised to say the least, but worse, there was no debate in the senate. None. Robert Bird was the only one to stand up and say anything. Why? Because they'd all been scared into thinking a no vote would lose them their seats! On that basis we entered a war with zero endgame and with a murder of crows in close attendance, waiting for their chance to feed. Now the whole thing is collapsing into sectarian violence again, largely because we did such a crap job in the first year. The fact was, as we learned, the sanctions had worked, Hussein couldn't wage war anymore, and if Hans Blik and his people had been allowed another week or so we would have known they didn't have what it turned out they didn't have, but then what would have been the rationale for going in? All that money for the taking and no war to hide the theft! Couldn't tolerate that, get those inspectors out of there and ramp up the war machine!

Yes, I'm angry about it. We were had, plain and simple.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Moderator » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:40 pm

Ditto to what the most eloquent Mr Tiedemann posted.

To ignore the no-bid award to a tight-knit associate of a standing VP is stunning. Were such an arrangement made for a former employer of Joe Biden, the howls for Presidential impeachment and lawsuits would be profound and immediate.
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