"As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it, now or ever." - Reagan, January 20, 1981

"In Vietnam, we tried and failed in a just cause. No More Vietnams can mean we will not try again. It should mean we will not fail again." - from No More Vietnams by Richard Nixon

Monday, May 30, 2011

Before the story disappears again - "The Nation" magazine's tribute to their fellow travelers: "Monthly Review at 50"

[What a bunch of commies; I guess it takes one to know one]

Monthly Review at 50

Paul Buhle | May 20, 1999
Monthly Review celebrated its semicentennial on May 7 with a Manhattan bash featuring loyalists Ossie Davis, Adrienne Rich and Cornel West, and a special retrospective May issue put together by MR Press editorial director Christopher Phelps. The Landmark on the Park scene calls to mind a phrase adopted by immigrant German socialists about themselves just a century ago: alte Genossen, old comrades, grayhaired and perhaps a bit bloodied from too-frequent contact with unyielding stone walls, but unbowed and still full of lively ideas on one large subject in particular.

Opposition to empire, as the late William Appleman Williams often observed, remains the touchstone of a certain kind of American radical. Williams--whose The Contours of American History's recent appearance on the Modern Library's 100 Best Nonfiction list particularly perturbed one of the judges, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.--was himself that kind of radical. So are the Monthly Reviewniks, one and all.

The MR story goes back to the Depression, when its future editors worked in the vicinity of the New Deal Administration and engaged the wide-ranging public conversation about the economic crisis. Paul Sweezy was a Marxist-inclined Harvard professor until he joined the Office of Strategic Services, the CIA's progressive-minded forerunner. Leo Huberman, one of the century's forgotten radical economic popularizers, had written Man's Worldly Goods (which sold a half-million copies), chaired a social science department at Columbia and worked at PM as labor editor. Harry Magdoff went from the Works Progress Administration to the National Defense Advisory Commission and served as Henry Wallace's special assistant at the Commerce Department. Marxists all, but also politically unaffiliated, a point of some importance.

The calamitous final months of the 1948 Progressive Party campaign, which saw Wallace submerged by cold war rhetoric and a foretaste of McCarthy-style blacklisting, prompted Sweezy, Huberman and a handful of others to look beyond disappointments to the long haul ahead. Harvard's F.O. Matthiessen, a gay socialist and the original doyen of American studies (but under ferocious attack and only a few years from suicide), personally put up most of the cash needed for several issues. Albert Einstein supplied the magazine's working credo in his essay for issue number one, "Why Socialism?" Published without benefit of an office or paid staff, MR advanced from 450 subscribers to several thousand and established its own voice.

In some ways, that voice could be heard best in chorus with The Nation's editor, Freda Kirchwey, and the professional journalists who launched the National Guardian. All of them saw the cold war and the construction of the US "security state" as the most formidable threat to global survival. And all of them tried to draw the large lessons from the outcome of the thirties and forties political experience.

Briefly put, humanity was not very likely to be saved by battalions of marching proletarians. Democratic promise rested in an interracial and international coalition of peoples breaking free of empire at home and (as it became more and more apparent) in distant parts. The Soviet Union had acted heroically at times in such struggles, directly or indirectly, but its leaders had proved themselves despots and its enlisted faithful around the world too dogmatic. Radicals needed to start over, in the middle of a tangle that showed no signs of straightening itself out.

Never were such lonely voices harder for most Americans to hear than in the early cold war years, and never were they more badly needed. The outbreak of armed conflict saw another MR intimate, journalist I.F. Stone, write The Hidden History of the Korean War (1952), and the Monthly Review Press was created to publish it. Stanford economist Paul Baran likewise delivered The Political Economy of Growth (1957), which explained cogently why poor countries had been programmed to stay poor. Sweezy and Baran irregularly delivered segments of a magnum opus, Monopoly Capital (finally published in 1966) to interpret the bouts of stagnation that inexplicably blighted the golden days of postwar capitalism.

Like historian Williams (another MR irregular), the editors of Monthly Review focused more and more upon empire as the key mode of global development and its hardest-hit victims as the most likely prospects for challenging the system. This slant put the magazine and its press--with the peacenik Liberation, as well as Frantz Fanon and Herbert Marcuse--squarely on the New Left intellectual agenda. In fact, these assorted savants may have created the agenda (as another forties political survivor, Betty Friedan, did for the women's movement), not excluding its dark corners. What about the working class, after all, and how could US radicalism revive as a social movement? Answers were few for these otherwise acute critics of capitalism, of empire and of racism, a strategic deficiency steadily more apparent as time suddenly ran out on New Left impulses.

The long run turned out to be longer and longer. In a particularly vivid interview in the May retrospective, Harry Magdoff recalls the sense of doom felt by capitalism-watchers at mid-century. Nothing, certainly since 1929, had caused them to believe that the system could escape cycles of severe crisis. Naturally, some kind of socialism (or worse forms of collectivism) seemed perennially in the offing, if not in the United States then elsewhere. Then things changed. For a staggeringly large part of the globe, of course, prosperity has never been more than relative, and collective disaster imminent. But don't try to sell Monthly Review's skepticism to Wall Street or the mainstream press, for whom, especially since the fall of Communism and the rise of the global economic order, happy days are truly and permanently here again.

To that almost seamless perspective, MR has tried to counterpose major flaws and impending limits. Ecology has, understandably, become increasingly central in recent years. But so has the close observation of globalization's many uncertainties, including the rampant financial speculation, which (in the editors' view) points back to the underlying stagnation of productive capital. Seasoned readers, then, see the magazine as a firm hand on the economic-interpretive tiller.

Still, it hasn't been easy. Readership has fallen seriously from the sixties/seventies peak of 11,500, and several years ago the press nearly suffered a meltdown. The operation has been shored up recently by Ellen Meiksins Wood, a much-admired political theorist and now the fourth editor in MR's history. Phelps remarks at the close of his mini-history of the magazine that it remains what Monthly Review always has been, the "flagship journal of an American Marxism in solidarity with liberation struggles the world over." Fair enough, and good luck for another fifty.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An "Air Marshal" program to address airliner hijacking

I didn't get around to it last week, but Michelle Malkin wrote a great piece about "What Happened on AA Flight 1561":

If you listen to the passengers and crew who flew on American Airlines Flight 1561 last weekend, there's no doubt about what happened on their harrowing trip: A Yemeni man shrieking "Allahu akbar!" at the top of his lungs more than 30 times rushed the cockpit door twice intending to take down the plane and kill everyone on board. ... It took at least four men to tackle and restrain Rageh Ahmed Mohammed al-Murisi. "There was no question in everybody's mind that he was going to do something," passenger Angelina Marty told the San Francisco Chronicle.

And no, that "something" did not mean enlisting his fellow flyers in a midair flash mob performance of the "Hallelujah Chorus." ...

So how, despite a massive transportation and homeland security apparatus, did al-Murisi get into this country and get on a plane? He had no keys, no luggage, $47 cash, two curious posted checks totaling $13,000, and a trove of expired and current state IDs from New York and California -- where relatives said he had not notified them that he was coming. He is young, male, brought no family with him, had no job or other discernible income, and hails from the terror-coddling nation of Yemen. Yes, the same Yemen that is Osama bin Laden's ancestral home, harbors al-Qaida operatives who are burning the "torch of jihad," and is deemed a "special interest country" whose citizens warrant increased scrutiny by DHS when they cross the border illegally.

As I reported last month, a federal watchdog revealed that TSA's counterterrorism specialists failed to detect 16 separate jihad operatives who moved through target airports "on at least 23 different occasions." Neutered by Islamophobia-phobia and an "overtime over security" mentality, our State Department consular offices' and airline security bureaucracy's stance toward the al-Murisis slipping through their snaking lines is:

Nothing to see here; move along.

At least the heroes of Flight 1561 who refused to sit silent learned the proper 9/11 lesson. "I swore to myself that I would never be a victim" after the 2001 attacks, passenger Larry Wright, one of the men who brought al-Murisi down, told reporters earlier this week. The only effective homeland security begins and ends with a culture of self-defense. Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no "see no jihad, hear no jihad, speak no jihad" delusionists on airplanes with Allahu akbar-chanting flyers beating down doors.

A possible solution to this phenomenon appears in the 1980 book Will: the autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy:

Although airliner hijacking had been a problem for some time, the companies had resisted suggestions to improve security because of the costs involved. But when three huge jets worth tens of millions of dollars were blown up by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), White House telephones sizzled with screams for help from the airlines. I was assigned to the task force that developed the "Air Marshal" program, and when the question arose concerning what armaments they should carry, the matter was referred to me.
I recommended the .357 magnum with high-velocity hollow-point ammunition. There was political resistance to use of dumdum bullets, and I had to explain that they were far less dangerous to the innocent than solid "ball" ammunition because dumdums expanded and stayed in the target individual, expending all their energy in knocking him down, rather than going through him to hit an innocent bystander ... and noted that while a stray solid-point round through the fuselage wouldn' t result in explosive decompression of the aircraft, it might well sever a vital control cable or hydraulic line.

It also would not puncture the walls of the Plane.

What we get for aid to Israel - Response to a Rush Caller

Quick update

From Rush's 5/24/2011 show:

CALLER: I don't agree with you on Israel. I think we need to stop borrowing money from China to give handouts to Israel. They don't do anything for us. It's a pretty one-sided deal. For the last 30 years, we give them $4 billion a year or so. Plus almost the same amount to Egypt to bribe them not to fight each other. Frankly, I don't see why we need to prop up Israel. They're the biggest welfare queen in history

This guy is very wrong. From Bibi's 5/23/2011 AIPAC speech:

"I know these are tough economic times. So I want to thank the president and Congress for providing Israel with vital assistance so that Israel can defend itself by itself. I want to thank you all for supporting the Iron Dome missile defense system. A few weeks ago, Hamas terrorists in Gaza fired eight rockets at our cities, at Ashkelon and Beer Sheva. Now, these rockets never reached their targets. Iron Dome intercepted them in midair. For the first time, a missile defense system worked in combat [MitsNote: Not really, we shot down Iraqi medium range ballistic missiles in 2003]. That's a precedent in military history. And I want to say thank you, America."


This is a game changer not only for Israel, but especially for South Korea - who's capital has been in range and in the cross-heirs of TONS of North Korean artillery for decades.

Bibi continued:

"America and Israel are cooperating in many other ways as well. We're cooperating in science, in technology, in trade, in investment. It's not only American companies that are investing in Israel. It's Israeli companies investing in America. In the last decade, Israeli companies have invested more than $50 billion in the United States. One of those companies is investing just down the road in Richmond. It's a company that is building a food factory. Now, here's what it means - more business, more jobs, and, yes, more hummus. Well, it's not just food we're bringing to America. Take medicine. Israel is advancing cure for multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, cancer. We've developed mechanical means to make paraplegics walk again. We've placed a tiny diagnostic camera inside a pill. I have not swallowed it, but I understand it's quite effective. And you've just heard of this miraculous bandage developed by an Israeli company that has helped save Congresswoman Gabby Giffords' life. And I wish Gabby, a great friend of Israel, “Refuah Shlema”, a happy, quick, speedy recovery."

Also, from Dore Gold, Israel's former ambassador to the UN in the Washington Examiner:

"Netanyahu argued at AIPAC that Israel has actually helped save the lives of Americans. Historically, he is absolutely correct to paint Israel’s strategic partnership this way. In August 1966, the Mossad succeeded in recruiting an Iraqi Air Force pilot who flew his MiG-21 to Israel. The intelligence on the MiG-21 was shared with Washington and would prove to be extremely valuable, considering the fact that the MiG-21 was the work-horse of the North Vietnamese Air Force in the years that followed. Israel supplied the Americans with many other Soviet weapons systems, from 130mm artillery to T-72 tanks. Gen. George Keegan, the former head of U.S. Air Force Intelligence, was quoted in the New York Times on March 9, 1986, saying that the intelligence the U.S. received from Israel could not have been obtained if the U.S. had “five CIAs.” Keegan went further: “The ability of the U.S. Air Force in particular, and the Army in general, to defend whatever position it has in NATO owes more to the Israeli intelligence input than it does to any single source of intelligence.” Even after the Cold War, Israel continues to be a vital American strategic partner. In 2007, the U.S. ambassador to Israel revealed that Israeli technology was being used by the U.S. armed forces in Iraq to protect them from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that were responsible for most U.S. casualties in the Iraq War. In short, Israel was helping save American lives in Iraq. On March 15, 2007, the commander of EUCOM, Gen. Bantz Craddock, told the House Armed Services Committee that “in the Middle East, Israel is the U.S.’s closest ally that consistently and directly supports our interests.” During his AIPAC speech, Netanyahu disclosed: “Israel shares with America everything” that it knows about their common enemies, especially intelligence."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Leftists are chauvinists - the full spectrum agrees

The ever brilliant and thought provoking Ann Coulter wrote a scathing indictment of the left's male bigotry in response to the arrest of the socialist head of the IMF:

Phyllis Schlafly points out in her book "Feminist Fantasies" (with a stirring foreword by Ann Coulter), for centuries, famous left-wing men have treated "their wives and mistresses like unpaid servants."

Their credo might well have been, "From each, according to my needs ..."

Schlafly bases her review of liberal woman-haters on the book "Intellectuals" by historian Paul Johnson. Among the left-wing heroes highlighted by Schlafly from Johnson's book are Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ernest Hemingway, Henrik Ibsen, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre and Karl Marx.

Johnson writes that the pint-sized -- 5 foot 2 1/2 inch -- communist-sympathizing Sartre "was notorious for never taking a bath and being disgustingly dirty." He said admiringly of the Nazis, "We have never been as free as we were under the German occupation."

The flyweight Sartre famously turned Simone de Beauvoir into his "mistress, surrogate wife, cook and manager, female bodyguard and nurse." (Sadly, she never learned how to give someone a sponge bath.) All the while, the smelly midget committed a stream of infidelities, viewing women "as scalps to add to his centaur's belt."

In "the annals of literature," Johnson writes, "there are few worse cases of a man exploiting a woman."

As he got older, Sartre's sexual conquests got younger, including teenaged girls.

Like Spitzer, Luster and Polanski, liberal men seem driven by their massive insecurities (often based on physical defects, such as their diminutive size or soap allergies) to choose unconscious, illiterate, servant-class and teenage females as their sex partners. But let's not drag pocket-sized Woody Allen's name into this, as my column appears in many family newspapers.

Karl Marx kept a female slave from the time she was 8 years old, eventually using her not only as a servant but as his mistress, never acknowledging his child with her or paying her at all. She waited on him hand and foot while he explained to the world that profit is the stolen surplus value of the laborer. Like so many liberal icons, Marx seldom bathed and left his wife and children in poverty.

As Schlafly says, no wonder liberal women think men are pigs: Their men are pigs.

Maybe Strauss-Kahn is innocent, but students of liberal comportment base their suspicions of his guilt not on fairy tales from Lifetime: TV for Women, but on 200 years of disgusting sexual behavior by liberal men.

As if to confirm Ann's analysis, feminist icon Betty Friedan wrote in The Second Stage:

"Tom Hayden and others might like to forget it now, but those early male leaders of the radical student movement and counterculture of the sixties, white and black, were more blatantly male chauvinist pigs than their conservative fathers. From the communes of Haight-Ashbury and Big Sur and Vermont to the seized and trashed academic fortresses of Harvard and Columbia, women were supposed to wash the pots and pan and cook the spaghetti and be good girls at the mimeograph machine — the " woman trip" — while the men made the revolutionary decisions, smoking their pot around the commune fire and taunting "the pigs" under the television lights."

And of course, there is...

... although we still don't know what is is

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Paulers and Michael Scheuer

(Mr. Scheuer, if you read this, it's nothing personal. As I state in the post, I respect your service and appreciate your insights into the CIA's anti-terrorism operations. This is a criticism of your political opinions. No insult to you intended, sir.)

Ron Paul people are pretty much the pseudo-right bridge to the doctrinaire Communist Left - both New and Old Left - not only in their language about the "imperialism" of the American "Empire" who fight wars for Wall Street/Bankers/the Fed ect. (I once had a Pauler tell me the Fed was responsible for the Holocaust), but also in the lack of distinction in the talking points from one member to another.
But Mark Levin pointed out another of the things I have repeatedly have come across. Predictably, Ron Paul and his neo-confederates (I hope Mark doesn't mind me borrowing his description of the Pauler circus) share the exact same source

Michael Scheuer is the former head of the CIA's anti-bin Laden unit. Both his service and his insights into the CIA's anti-terrorism operations are absolutely invaluable. But his political opinions and analyses are bizarre! As Mark says, he seems to believe that Israel controls American policy in the Middle East, thus provoking terrorism against ourselves. (The Paulers' capacity to make excuses and justifications for Jihadist attacks on America as if we deserve it is in a class all it's own - excluding the left, of course - as is the resiliency of 9/11 trutherism in their little circus)

If Paulers want to keep sighting his analysis of Middle East cause and effect, then they should be made to reckon with this completely and utterly false statement from pages 24-25 of his book "Marching Toward Hell":

As the level of [Military support to Israel support grew, so too did efforst by pro-Israel Americans in both parties and large parts of academia, the media, and Hollywood - complemented by what can only be described as superbly effective covert political action by Israel's intelligence service - to entwine U.S. support for Israel ever more deeply and inextricably into U.S. domestic politics.

I want to say to Paulers - if that is your source and you actually believe our Middle East policy is directed by an Israeli conspiracy that controls our institutions, then all I can say is: I know a few good shrinks I can put you in touch with.