Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

October 30, 2009

Why This Liberal Democrat Wants Corzine to Lose

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 9:44 am

Sorry, I just don’t think people who have earned billions in investment banking should be able to buy their way into the Democratic Party, whatever they now believe or support.

The idea that you devote yourself selfishly to materialism and then suddenly become a friend of working people doesn’t work for me. I know all too many people in the new administration are cronies of the investment banking scammers who destroyed the economy. In fact I think it should be an automatic disqualification for public office. (I’m not talking legal disqualification but choice and pre-disposition.)

One thing you can say about Obama is that he’s not a materialist. He didn’t go for the easy money on Wall Street or their satellite law firms. He’s an idealist. Much as conservatives mock it and much as it can be abused, being a “community organizer” is a noble pursuit. Didn’t your parents teach you that it was noble to seek to help the poor? Mine did; that’s why I’m a liberal. I don’t get why that’s somehow shameful, while the worship of the amoral values of the materialistic “free market” is somehow more admirable. Is that what your parents taught you? (I’m even told that “helping the poor” is encouraged by religion, you “values voters.”) I know you can find all sorts of ways to complicate it, but it seems pretty basic to me.

Anyway, that’s why I want Corzine to lose — even if it’s a short-term defeat for the Democratic Party. I don’t want people like him buying the Democratic Party. If he loses it becomes less attractive to his ilk. Simple as that.

As I’m sure you know, it was Balzac who made the observation that “behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” I’m not saying Corzine broke any laws. I’m saying that the market itself has proven itself the great crime and he’s at the very least an accessory after the fact.


October 29, 2009

Best C.I.A. Euphemism for Lying Denial

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 7:14 am

In declining to comment about the explosive New York Times story that the CIA had been paying off the brother of the Afghan president to time off from his opium trade to run errand for us, which he apparently interpreted to mean steal the election for his brother, thus further delegitimizing the U.S. presence there, this is what our “intelligence” agency spokesman had to say:

“A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment for this article. ‘No intelligence organization worth the name would ever entertain these kind of allegations,’ said Paul Gimigliano, the spokesman.

Brilliant! They screw up all over the world, get suckered, misinform the American people and president (remember the “slam dunk” on Iraq) and then tell us they won’t “entertain” such allegations. What does that mean? You won’t buy them a drink or a lapdance?

You just did “entertain” them in the primary meaning of the word. You considered them–and then refused to respond to them in any coherent way, although it sounded more like a denial than a confirmation. But a “non denial denial”. As in if they were true we couldn’t tell you.

But the key phrase here is “any intelligence agency worth its name:. Je seems to be asserting–contrary to all available evidence over the past half century that the CIA is “an intelligence agency worth its name”. That is it has or exhibits intelligence. I’m not willing to “entertain” that. What they’re good at is not “intelligence” but coining new euphemisms for the lack of it.

October 28, 2009

The Pesssimist (2): Best Concise Summary of Afghan Folly

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 2:32 pm

Nobody left or right tells it like it is on Afghanistan the way retired U.S army Col. Ralph Peters does in this column.

Do you have a better way of looking at it?

The Pessimist POV (1): Why There is No Good Solution in Afghanistan

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 8:43 am

I’ve argued before against “solutionism”–the optimistic American belief that there is always going to be a correct, successful solution to any given international problem as long as people of good will, etc.

Alas our endearing but naive American optimism repeatedly comes up against a world in which people of good will, etc. (by our definition) are in short supply. The argument for and the argument against making a big push in Afghanistan are both persuasive to some extent, but neither is a solution. Heads we lose one way, tails we lose another. .

If you doubt this please read this deeply pessimistic account of an ex Marine who resigned his Afghan civilian post out of hopelessness.

I used to think false hope was better than no hope. No so much anymore.

October 26, 2009

No Racists Among You Obama Haters, Right?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 11:00 pm

Then how do you explain this and how did it escape notice for so long on the Republican National Committee official site? Another legacy of “the Southern Strategy” that has served the GOP so well. Are you really proud of the electoral victories achieved with voters like this? Are you going to tell me once again that Lincoln freed the slaves and that excuses everything the Republican party has done to profit from racism since the ’60s? When is the silence of the intelligent wing of conservatives going to end? Do you really want to be associated with these people?

October 19, 2009

Dear Haters: Hitler was Not a Socialist, Obama is Not Hitler

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 6:05 am

Somehow it’s become a meme among the historically ignorant on the right–who have totally driven themselves into hysterical frenzies of ignorant hatred for Obama (Hitler was a socialist; Obama is a socialist therefore Obama equals Hitler). The proof that Hitler was a socialist: his party was called “The National Socialist Democratic Workers Party”. Duh! By that logic you must believe that North Korea is a democracy because its official name is The Democratic Republic of North Korea.

Do you believe everything Hitler said about himself and the Nazi Party? The fact that someone has to point this out is an indication of how stunningly deranged and disproportionate the opposition to Obama has become. You disagree with him about health care? Fine. Many Americans agree, but respect intelligent criticism. You disagree with him about healthc are and think he’s Hitler? You need professional help.

Are you aware of the nature of Hitler’s chief opposition, the German Social Democratic Party? Frankly I doubt it. As someone who has researched and written about the death-struggle between the German Social Democratic Party (yes, they were socialists! and pro-democracy!) and the Nazis (in Explaining Hitler), as someone who has spoken with aging German social democrats, whose fellow party members were murdered by Nazi thugs on the streets and in the concentration camps, I have to say to the Hitler mustache crew: Have you no shame, have you no decency? Have you no ability to read history? Are you not aware of how sickening your trivialization of Nazi evil is. You are traducing the memory of some of the bravest defenders of democracy in Germany by mimicking the Nazis’ meretricious expropriation of the socialist name. Are you unable to distinguish between Nazi Germany and the democratic socialism of Sweden, say? Are you that detached from reality?

The German Social Democratic party fought the Nazis in the streets, in the press (see my chapter on the socialist anti-Hitler newspaper, The Munich Post) whose reporters risked their lives to warn the world about the evil brewing in Germany. Evil fomented by Nazi lies and violence. The German Social Democratic Party was, by the way, hated not just by the Nazis but by the Communists as well. Both totalitarian groups couldn’t abide a genuinely pro-democratic party. (Are you aware there’s a difference between democratic socialism and totalitarian communism? Whatever critique you have of the former, they were never mass murderers like the latter. Have you read anything but the Jonah Goldberg book? ).

Hitler and his party were mass murdering racist, anti-semites who wanted to wage wars of subjugation and campaigns of extermination and caused a war that killed 60 million all told. The fact that some people need to be reminded of this–and the differences between Hitler and Obama — is an indictment of the sad failure of the American educational system and the sad takeover of conservatism by hate-filled lynch mob ignoramuses.

(By the way, I’ll ask again: when are decent conservatives going to speak out against the Hitler mustache crew? Do you really want to let them to define conservatism? At this point your silence equals assent to dangerous idiocy.)

The great philosopher Emil Fackenheim once said that the lesson of the Holocaust, or one of them, should be to give “no posthumous victories for Hitler.” And yet, in gleefully proliferating Hitler’s image in their demented defacings of Obama’s image, they are doing just that. Somewhere in hell Hitler is smiling upon them. And laughing at them.

October 11, 2009

Do the Commenters Here Represent the Average Intelligence of Conservatives?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 8:13 pm

I’m just curious,on anthroplogical grounds.

Let’s try an experiment that will help me better understand the anonymous cowards who use a screen name to escape responsiblitlity for the infantile insults better suited to the short bus. Are you the true face of conservatism?

The reason I ask is that I know quite a few intelligent, literate, thoughtful conservatives and none of them sound like the many semi-literate haters who embarass themselves here. (and yes I have condemned “Bushitler” type haters on the left).

Why is that? Or was I deceived by knowing intelligent convetvatives and not aware that the anonymous haters here are more typical?

So here’s the experiment. Conservatism I always thought was about preserving the lasting values and achievments of our civilization. So I hope you won’t mind if I ask: Do you read any books aside from right wing screeds? You don’t sound like you do, but I could be wrong. So please name the last classic work of literature you’ve read in the past year (or decade) and tell me in a few words why you thought it was valuable (aside from some cartoonish political lesson). Just so I’ll know you’re not faking it. How about something published before the twentieth century that you didn’t read as a school assignment but because you are a conscientious conserver of our intellectual heritage.

And, hey, for those of you who cower in anonymity because you think the black helicopters will get you, here’s your chance to use your real name in a non controversial context you won’t have to be afraid about. (Or ahsamed if your neighbors knew your frothing side). Try it, putting your name behind your words. I know it’s scary to you, but it’ll be worth it because of what you’ll gain in self-respect.

By the way the fact that the nominations for the Nobel closed in February doesn’t mean that the voting took place then. Perhaps it will help you grasp this concept if you try to wrap your mind around the idea that American political nominating conventions are not the same as the elections. I don’t think Obama was the only deserving candidate, and I’m sure politics played a role in his selection, but pushing the issue of nuclear weapons to the forefront of the international agenda is a valid reason for giving him the prize, since it has the the power to change the fate of the earth.

Okay let’s hear some intelligent discussion about books you’ve read. Surprise me.

*typos fixed version.

October 9, 2009

Haters: You Brought it on Yourselves. You Got Obama his Nobel

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 9:04 am

Sure, sure, there were “politics” involved and politics is petty, but that’s precisely the point. Consider the timing. On one level it might have been designed to influence the Afghan decision. In other words: Nobel Peace Prize Winner Calls For Troop Surge is going to look paradoxical to some, perhaps even the current “decider”.

On the other hand I wouldn’t down play the worldwide reaction to he sickening virulence of American Obama-haters. The worldwide web circulation of pictures of thuggish goons carrying guns (yes I know it’s legal, it’as also incredibly stupid), haters screaming down dissenters from their talking points at Townhalls, the kind of violence in the rhetoric of the anonymous cowards who spill their bile–behind their cowardly anonymity–in the comments section.

Finally I think it was the Hitler mustaches on the Obama posters. Norway is a nation that was invaded by and lived under Hitler’s rule. Sweden was threated into neutrality. I wouldn’t blame them for wanting to rebuke these hysterical whiners trivializing Nazism before they unleashed some nut with a gun who took their frothings seriously. (Of course they could just be jealous of the attention given to the Danes).

But all in all I think you can pat yourself on the back, haters, you’ve just won your man (you know you love him–you’re obsessed with him!) a Nobel Prize.

*And by the way I don’t think it matters when the voting took place the hate has been goin on since he became the frontrunner for the nomination. And it could always have changed, It ain’t over til the fat man squeals (you know who I men).


October 8, 2009

Lockerbie Doubts Break Into the WSJ/A Blackberry From David Samuels

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 3:18 pm

You might have missed it and I didn”t find it on line (if you have a link send it to comments), but last Saturday the Wall Street journal was the first major U.S. daily I know of to report on doubts over the Lockerbie prosecution and conviction.

Most U.S. media covering the British hand-off of al-Meghari, the Liban convincted of blowing up Pan Am flight 103 oveer Lockerbie Scotland in 1988, never showed any curiosity about the substance of the appeal of his conviction which a Scottish judicial review called “a miscarriage of justice”. It was a terrorist crime, no doubt, but did we get the right terrorists. I don’t know for sure, but I think these things matter. But in fact I didn’t even see any mention in the coverage that he maintained his innocence. (His Tripoli hero’s welcome was no less shameful because those who chreered him did so–I think–because they believed he did it).

But he’s maintained his innocence and the Wall Street Journal reporter Cassell Bryan Low tells us he’s continued to try to” clear his name”. Dropping his appeal appears to bea condition of his release but he’s been releasing document the WSJ says, including the appeal brief. Check out the links to the London Review of Books and The New York Review of Books in my previous post onthe subject for a review of the Lockerbie evidence and tell me there isn’t there isnt reasonable doubt. .

I got a very interesting Blackberry communque from my friend David Samuels, whose work you probably know fro, The New Yorker, Harpers etc and his two books The Runner and Only Love Can Break Your Heart.

I think it’s an astute and sohisticated analysis of the way the fog of intelligence can obscure even the fog of war:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 10:06 AM
>> Its not implausible, as you know.
>> Intelligence is murky and terrorists are connected to each
>> other in operational ways the same way that thieves are.
>> They inhabit a milieu where they get orders for certain
>> types of merchandise. The nature of a secret world made up
>> of overlapping clandestine networks who often use some of
>> the same people for their logistics (clean weapons,
>> passports, undetected passage across borders) gives rise to
>> competing theories whenever an action takes place. I
>> believe for example that one of the most startling examples
>> of this kind of cross-pollination was how Terry Nichols
>> learned how to make a high-yield fertilizer bomb. I find the
>> circumstantial evidence of an Al Qaeda connection pretty
>> convincing. But that doesn’t mean that Nichols was an Al
>> Qaeda operative, or that Ramzi Yousef gave instructions for the
>> bombing of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City. It means that
>> Nichols entered a milieu where he met some people who
>> helped him get better at his job of making bombs.
>> Similarly, I do believe that the Libyans were involved in a
>> support capacity for the Lockerbie bombing and may have
>> known something of the actual plan. The fact of SOME Libyan
>> involvement naturally gave rise to competing theories about
>> method, author and motive as it always does. At some point,
>> someone put a heavy finger on the scales in favor of the
>> Libyan theory and to the exclusion of evidence of a much
>> deeper degree of Syrian involvement through Ahmad Jibril’s PFLP-GC.
>> To say that this was an intelligence call made for political
>> reasons is to describe something normal that happens every
>> day. Just look at your posts on the 2007 NIE.

>> As far as James Baker and George HW Bush were concerned, I
>> would imagine this was a simple act of the realpolitik on
>> which both men prided themselves. The finger on the scales
>> in favor of Khadafy and against the Syrians would have been a
>> no-brainer. Khadafy was crazy and had killed lots of
>> Americans in the 80s. And the Syrians weren’t directly
>> responsible for Lockerbie – in the sense that they didn’t order the
>> bombing or carry it out. Their crime was hosting Jibril’s PFLC-GC,
>> whose German cell built the bomb for the Iranians and handled
>> much of the logistics. The involvement of Jibril’s group probably
>> gave some part of the Syrian security apparatus a degree of advance
>> knowledge at least the outlines of the plot- which the Libyans probably
>> also had.
>> In exchange for a free pass on Lockerbie, which Syria didn’t
>> plan or execute, and which only served that country’s
>> interests in a tangential way as part of its relationship
>> with Iran (dude, here’s the phone number of my friend who
>> can score you that coke), Hafez al-Assad sent 30,000
>> soldiers and some rusty tanks to join Bush’s grand coalition
>> to take out Saddam. Remember how important Arab backing was
>> for the first Gulf War as opposed to the second? Well, how
>> do you think we got it? As far as the dynamic duo of Bush and Baker
>> war concerned, the Syrians more than made up for the solid they
>> did for Iran by letting Jibril off his chain with the solid they did for us in
massaging the optics of the Gulf War coalition.
>> Seen from this angle, Lockerbie was actually a blessing for the US
>> because it put the wily Hafez al-Assad
>> in our pockets on the cheap while giving us powerful evidence
>> we could use if he ever let his Palestinians off the leash
>> again to disrupt the US project to create a Palestinian
>> state that started at the Bush-Baker peace conference in
>> Madrid. Interestingly, Assad mostly kept his word and didn’t let
>> his Palestinian clients disrupt Oslo.
>> The real moral failure that came about from cooking the Lockerbie intelligence
>> was not framing the Libyans – who were probably accessories to
>> the crime – or letting the Syrians off scott-free
>> (the Syrians paid us back big time, in the currency of our choice)
>> but letting the Iranians off the hook for the premeditated mass killing of Western civilians
>> – a success that no doubt encouraged them to bomb the Jewish community center in
>> Buenos Aires and which may culminate someday in their use of
>> a nuclear bomb against Israel or innocent civilians elsewhere.
>> But there was no way to connect the Iranians to Lockerbie
>> without bringing forward the evidence that Jibril’s PFLP-GC
>> executed the crime. Where the connection between Jibril and
>> Syria is very public and easy to make, the Iranian
>> connection is much harder to prove – and so the public case
>> against Iran would have wound up being a case against Jibril
>> and Syria. So one can argue that Bush and Baker in fact cashed in
>> the Lockerbie card for the most they could get, like the
>> skilled Texas Hold’em players that they were.
>> I would also speculate that a dose of the shitheel
>> antisemitism in which Baker specialized probably also
>> contributed in some small degree to the ease with which
>> blame was shifted away from the Syrians and Jibril. The
>> Israels were quite vocal about blaming the Syrians and their
>> Palestinian proxies, and Baker must have enjoyed telling
>> them that their tribal enmities would no longer stand in the
>> way of America’s larger interests in the Arab world –
>> including the Gulf War coalition and Baker’s pet project of
>> rapproachment with Syria.

I think the shameless U.K. government should make u for its shameful deal by allowing the appeal to procede. History and justice demand it.

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