Blundering in the Middle East: Imperiling Our Future Safety

(1) syrian soldiersBack in January 1998 a group of people sent a letter to President Clinton urging him to remove Saddam Hussein from power. They waved the specter of him having “weapons of mass destruction” in his possession. They went on to say if he acquired the capability to deliver them “the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and moderate Arab states  . . . will be put at hazard.” It called upon President Clinton to have “a willingness to undertake military action” aimed at removing Saddam.

Clinton wisely resisted the pressure. Of the eighteen who signed the letter, eleven would have great and direct influence George Bush’s foreign policy especially over military matters such as Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Bush welcomed these individuals who publicly urged war on Iraq into decision-making positions. They produced the war they wanted.

One of the signers, Francis Fukuyama, eventually developed a great distaste for the others. He attended an annual dinner of the American Enterprise Institute in February 2004 less than a year after the war began. He said Dick Cheney and Charles Krauthammer “declared the beginning of a unipolar era under American hegemony.” He went on to say, “All of these people around me were cheering wildly.”  He felt that “all of my friends had taken leave of reality.

That war started in 2003 is still ongoing after 11 years. We defeated Germany, Italy and Japan in WWII shattering those countries and within that period of time they had turned themselves into thriving democracies. We spent a decade “freeing” Iraq and standing up its army only to see it collapsed when opposed by a radical force from the Islamic State (ISIS) losing up to one-third of the country. Is it our job after losing more than 4,000 American lives and countless billions of dollars to do for Iraq what it is unwilling to do for itself? .

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal by John Boehner and Mitch McConnell suggest they think it is. They say one of the most pressing challenges facing the U.S. today is: “a savage global terrorist threat that seeks to wage war on every American.” That is the same type of radical language used in 2003 by those mentioned above who started this debacle in the first place.

The Republicans want us to lose more American lives in this fool’s errand. Even now we are trying to rebuild the Iraqi army but don’t expect it will be ready until next spring or summer. The Republican just told the Iraqis they can expect us to come in and fix their problems. They’ll be happy to let us do it. Are we forever obligated to lose American lives saving Iraqis who won’t save themselves? The Republicans say yes. They got us in there in the first place, and are intent on bringing us back to this hell-hole.

Saddam ruled Iraq with an iron fist. He was our ally in the Iraq-Iran war. He became our enemy when he began to threaten other of his neighbors: he invaded Kuwait from which he was quickly ejected by American forces. Wisely, the first president George Bush let him remain in power. Saddam gave stipends of money to the family of suicide bombers among the Palestinians incurring the wrath of Israel. Saddam was not a nice guy but he was no threat to us as we learned to our dismay.

Saddam was also a Sunni Muslim. The Shiite Muslims made up the majority of his country. When we went invaded we put the Shiites in power. Since that time they have done their best to suppress the Sunnis who having lost the ascendency are bitter; some have now gone over to ISIS.

What is happening in the Middle East is a religious war among Muslims. Sunni nations (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms,) are at war with the Shiite nations (Iran, Syria, Iraq). Although our traditional allies are Sunnis we have allied ourselves with the Shiites. Our present plan to defeat ISIS helps both Syria and Iraq with an assist from Iran.

The Middle East is truly a mess. We’ve turned a relatively stable area that never threatened us into a warehouse full of troubles. (Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or al Qaeda) Our actions have directly led to the rise of ISIS which may be the most evil group that ever existed since humans came out of the caves. The brutality and barbarity of its actions have rightly stunned us.

But, they don’t threaten us. They threaten their fellow Muslims. We cannot solve the Sunni/Shiite hatreds that have existed for over a thousand years. Did anyone ever think when we went into Iraq expecting a warm welcome we’d still be there at this late date?

It’s time to reverse course. We must get out of the Middle East from which no threat has ever come to our existence and never will. Russia is an enemy that is getting restless; China also is getting itchy. They’ve been kept in check by our willingness to be strong and confront them. Under Obama they sense weakness, lack of resolve and inattention to their aggressiveness. Boehner and McConnell ignored these countries when setting out our more pressing challenges.

Their omission will embolden these real enemies. They will sense they are off our radar. We are acting in a manner that we imperil our long time safetly. We do so at our dire peril.

 

17 thoughts on “Blundering in the Middle East: Imperiling Our Future Safety

  1. All in favor of expanding the Military Industrial Complex, Increasing taxes, Increasing American Imperialism, Increasing NATO Napoleonism, sending troops to the Byelorus, Ukraine, Tibet and the India-Pakistan border, re-bombing Libya, bombing Cambodia and Burma, bombing Chinese Naval vessels in the South China Sea and expanding Homeland Security say “I” or say “Hey Hitler.” Stay stuck in the past and keep singing the popular World War I song, “Over There” while Big Brother and Big Taxes and Big Government expand at home. Soon, you’ll look over your shoulder and find that your own government has determined that patronage is federal crime, but not one feds do it. You’ll also find that America says it O.K. to bomb Khadaffi’s compounds, and Milosevic’s compounds, and Assad’s compounds, but it’s not OK to bomb the Kennedy compound or Bush’s compound in Maine. Some compounds (homes) are command and control structures so the US and NATO says it’s OK to bomb them. Not all compounds are equal. But China and Russia are bad, and their people are inherently bad, or at least their leaders are inherently bad. Just can’t work with them along any fronts. Too scary. Boo!

  2. Matt –While I disagree on some of the opinions expressed by the blogger-in-chief (and some commenters as well), I must admit that it takes a lot of guts for you to put your opinions out there for all the world to take pot shots at. Congratulations for having the nerve to keep your very-interesting, mostly-intelligent blog going strong !!! — CB

    1. Clarence:

      The idea of putting my opinions out there is to get feed back. I understand I’m not always right. 🙂 Thanks for the note.

  3. Napoleon’s ghost apparently still a serviceable model for drawing moral precepts for today’s politics, hey? … Devil take Hitler, Imperial Japan, the Holocaust, Stalin and WW2 for providing any insight into anything in the … Modern Era. Hey, ” Mr. Romney, the Eighties called and they want their foreign policy back !!! ” Only Romney was right wasn’t he, and Russia is on a NATO tear playing chicken with muscular Bearcat Bomber formations, and consolidating gains in the Ukraine. So, let’s adjust our forage caps at a jaunty angle and go out there and ” make friends ” with the Iranians and those oh so malleable Chinese, among others. If History, Nation’s avarice, and human nature does not teach us that such simple nostrums are politically simple minded in their well intentioned friendly innocence, then we really have forgotten important lessons. La, La, La … It’s the ” Modern Era” … Let’s trip the ” Light Progressive ” with the World’s badasses … They are just misunderstood and we’re … a different bunch … than those ” American Exceptionalism ” colonial oppressor ” Policeman ” types. How’s that workin’ for ya’ Mr.President? ?? Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarek, and Moammar Khadaffi were all ” Strongmen. ” They ruled in tribally divided countries with intense internecine conflicts. Were we really wise to aid in deposing them and attempting to impose democratic models of government? ??? Or were we just very naive, and at a terrible, terrible cost? ?? … Meet the New Boss, Same as The Old Boss !!!

  4. There’s an evil core within Islam and true enough many of these evil-thinkers and evil-doers have settled in Canada and the good old USA. En garde! Federal Government; You better be Ethnic profiling against radical Muslims, and you better leave the rest of us Americans alone; Profile the jihadists who’ve killed thousands in America already. Remember when the Tsarnaev Brother’s photos were first publicized, not one person from the Muslim community contacted the FBI to identify them. Most American Muslims are good citizens, ordinary people, but we delude ourselves if we don’t apprehend the evil core hates us and hates our Judaeo-Christian ways. They intend to kill and kill again, and we must ferret them out. 2. I saw a great show on the black footed ferret and how he hunts down ground hogs, prairie dogs, in their holes. We need to hunt down the jihadists and not put blinders on and pretend they are not among us. They are. 3. We don’t need a massive intrusive militarized police state to hunt down the jihadists among us; we need targeted police work; same with the major drug traffickers—good strong solid targeted police work, local, federal and internationally. Burn the poppy and cocaine fields—Over There! Keep the jihadists, Over There.

    1. Willliam:

      There is no evidence that evil-doers of the Muslim persuasion have settled in US or Canada. You sugggest the federal government be prepared at the same time you rail against the federal government having too many employees.
      You want to profile people but who is to do it the FBI who you complained FBI bungled things already? Where is that evil core? We have millions of Muslims living among us and only a handful have caused any deaths through terrorist acts. Those thousands murdered on 9/11 were not American Muslims. As far as no one in the Muslim community contacting the FBI about the Tsarnaevs there is no evidence that happened that I have seen. Remember the FBI itself knew about them since it had surveillane tearms in the neighborhood that night.
      2. If the jihadists are among us what are they waiting for?
      3. I do suppose we have targeted police work ongoing – if you are urging us to do the burning of the cocaine and poppy fields how does that pay into the idea that we should not be involved in world affairs.

      1. Matt, No radical jihadists in America? What was 9-11, what was 4-15, who were those Muslims and Muslim converts killing in Canada, who was shooting soldiers at Army bases, who was planting bombs (trying to) in Times Square, who was flying over here wearing shoe bombs, who were those three Midwest girls caught trying to fly to Syria to join ISIS? 2. How do you destroy poppy and cocaine fields, you ask? By paying farmers in those countries more money to raise other crops. 3. Withdrawal from world affairs are your words, not mine; my words were about ending “American Imperialism”, CIA excessive intermeddling, CIA-US excessive interventionism and NATO ‘s Napoleonic complex: Napoleon excessively intermeddled in North Africa, raping Egypt his army discovered the Rosetta Stone, the Middle East and throughout Europe up to Russia’s borders; NATO bombed Libya, bombed Serbia, supports intervention in Syria, and provokes Russia on its border: NATO missiles in Poland; stirring up trouble in White Russia, Byelorus?. 2. Perhaps you’ve forgotten that the Ukrainians inspired by the CIA and others shot and assaulted hundreds of police in Kiev, and overthrew the pro-Russian government. Crimea was give to the Ukraine by Russia. Who says who rightfully owns it today. The people of Quebec wanted to secede; an election kept Quebec in Canada; some in Eastern Ukraine feel more allegiance to Russia, as do some in Khazia and Crimean. 3. Russia works with the West along many fronts, civil, social, space, artistic, scientific, and only old world warriors want to prevent its peaceful evolution along those lines. Stalin is dead. There are no gulags and concentration camps in Europe or Russia, to my knowledge. Russia is not a danger to us today, nor is China, nor is India. Let’s keep it that way. It’s a New World. Old analogies don’t work here. 3. Limited government does not mean no government; limiting imperialism and interventionism does not mean no participation in foreign affairs. It’s a change of focus: focus forward towards new peaceful resolutions; accept the fact that America is not omnipotent. I did not as you falsely implied attempt to list all Nuclear Powers; I listed the four most powerful nations, most populous with nuclear power, the ones Kissinger was talking about in his book: Russia, India, China, the US. Hundreds of millions and billions of people with nuclear arms. Economic power houses. Pakistan is not an economic powerhouse and has what? 80 million people, half of Russia’s 140 million population? Russia supplies energy to many European countries. Europe and the US are foolish to antagonize a potential peaceful partner. Respect other countries’ spheres of influence. It’s easy to create straw men and knock them down. #5-8. It’s a foolish argument and splitting hairs to say the Muslims who killed in America were not “American Muslims” when they all lived and worked here and settled here, in many cases for years. And the recent American converts to Islam who’ve joined ISIS or tried to join ISIS are I guess figments of my imagination. 4. Speaking of Pakistan, it was the President of Pakistan who said one percent of Muslims were radical jihadists, which in my math equals about 10 million people if there are one billion Muslims. One percent of the say 5 million Muslims in America would equal 50,000 jihadists living among us. But I guess we could blinders on and pretend Hitler, Stalin and Mao are our greatest threats. There’s a difference between knowing the past, which I do, and being stuck in the past. Face forward!

        1. William:
          `1 9/11 wasn’t Americans nor were the Canadian attacks – I never said there were none – I said they are so miniscule we have nothing to worry about.
          `2 Whose going to pay those farmers? Us? Why not pay Americans first.
          `3 There are no NATO missiles in Syria. NATO has never threatened Russia – it is a defense against Russia whose aggression you seem to close your eyes to – our bombing of Serbia brought peace where it had been absent for a half-dozen years –
          `4 Au Contraire – the Russian snipers brought in by Yanukovich murdered over 100 peaceful protestors – stop the foolishness about Ukraine – it hasn’t attacked anyone while Russia continues to cause trouble there – or are all the world leaders wrong about that – The U.S. guaranteed that Crimea would remain in Ukraine – all the world recognizes Russia had no right to seize it – Many in California and New Mexico feel closer to Mexico than the US – is it all right if Mexico sends its army in civilian clothes in to help them get out of America.
          `5 Haven’t you read the news lately about Russia’s aggressive actions – it has been thrown out of the G -7 because of its lies and deceptions – the Europeans have been appeasing Russia for years and now they see the mistake they have made – you seem to forget it is Russia who invaded Ukraine – how is Europe antagonizing Russia? – Europe just wants to enjoy the freedom it has – do you understand why Ukrainians did not want to be part of Russia – they see what is happening there under Putin – don’t you see that free press, free assembly, multi-party elections have all disappeared there. Does Russia’s sphere of influence means it can deprive other people of their freedoms?
          `6 You talked about thousands of deaths caused in America by Muslims – I pointed out all those you mention on 9/11 were done by foreigners. American Muslims have accounted for less than two dozen deaths – if there was something to fear we’d have had many more. The FBI director estimates of the 310 million Americans only a dozen have joined ISIS.
          ‘7 Our greatest threats are from those who follow the philosophies of Stalin and Mao – they are not in the past but are with us today in a very real manner.

  5. Lee Rigby, British soldier, his raw beheaded torso truncating any dispute as to radical Muslim social goals, as it bleeds on a London street, on a London afternoon, in a Western Democracy. ” Hey Mate ” says the British Jihadist in a disturbingly Cockney accent as he and his fellow Sharia vigilante patrol members accost two young working class blokes sharing a post work beer in a nearly deserted East London park nearing midnight. …. ” Hey Mate, get out of this park now !!! We don’t like what you’re doing … Get out …. Now! !! ” … This is London. This is in the year 2014 . This was unthinkable as a scenario twenty years ago. Tell the Brits that Sharia Law is, urged on by radical Muslim clerics in dear Old Blighty , not indeed already come to London Towne. Play the Ostrich. For they are indeed coming for your head. They are here already. Just watch and wait. Accommodate their bullshit at your peril !!!

  6. Good analyses by both Matt and NC. 2. Kissinger has a new book out where he cautions that US Imperialism must stop and we must recognize other Powers’ spheres of influence, namely, Russia’s, China’s and India’s hegemony over their neck of the woods. Let’s stop beating America’s war drums; let’s oppose McCain, the Neocons and other war mongers. Let’s make friends

    1. William:
      1. Half right – but thanks for the complement an my analyses.
      2. Kissinger the foreign policy genius never quite was my cup of tea. Where does he suggest we draw the line. I bet he feels we shoud still be in the Middle East – does he want us to let Japan and the Philippines fall under China’s rule – how about Australia. Where does India’s hegemony extend to – Pakistan? Afghanistan? What was Kissinger’s position on the first and second Iraq war.
      3. Friends require recipricosity.

      1. Matt, our world views at are odds. Where should we go, what should we do? We should stop being Imperialists, stop intermeddling in every country’s affairs, stop bringing up ghosts of the pasts—Hitler and the Nazis, Imperial Japan—to address current problems. 2. NATO has become Napoleonic and too many Americans (McCain and many others in the Republican Party and many in the Dems) have become too militaristic and interventionist. Focus on helping Americans and keeping America strong. We are not the World’s Policeman. Focus on America first and this hemisphere second, and let Europe and NATO modernize and stop waving war flags. As NC said, make Russia and China our allies against international radical Muslims—America’s greatest threat—-but let the Europeans and Asians fight their own wars and settle their own affairs. What you recommend for the Middle East, Pat Buchanan and others (and I) recommend for Asia and Europe. De-escalate. There are at least four nuclear-armed economic super powers in the world today: Russia, China, India and the US. We, the US, cannot intervene nor help everywhere. 2. Fear McCain and the new regime in Washington trying to beat the war drums for the military industrial complex. 3. Stop CIA interventionism and intermeddling world wide—look at the mess the made of Libya, Syria, Egypt etc; look at the debacle in the Balkans: bombing the Serbs to support the terrorist group the KLA. 4. Russia warned us about the Tsaernev’s; Russia told the US, the FBI, that the two brothers were dangerous and on a “watch list.”: the FBI fumbled that ball; Russia has helped us in Space and along a thousand different scientific fronts; they’ve helped our literature and arts; their intent is to lean West, but they will resist the CIA’s and NATO’s Napoleonic interventionism along their borders. 5. or 6. The US has blood on its hands from its excessive intermeddling since Vietnam; it’s time we become right-sized; it’s time to dismantle the old-school-old European-Napoleonic-Constant Wars–Crowd. 7. Obama has done a good job with limited intervention against ISIS and with bringing troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and with using the bully pulpit alone in dealing with the Russian – Ukraine disputes where both sides bear blame for continuing hostilities. 8. Read more of Thomas Sowell and Pat Buchanan, and read less of McCain and Norman Podhororetz (sp) and watch less of Norman Lear. 9. Build a new world. 10. Put old world antagonisms where they belong: in the past. 11. We must tread gingerly in this nuclear age, where America does not hold all the cards. 12. Put America first, the Americas second. 13. Every viewpoint can be countered with debating points: try to absorb and appreciate what others are saying; more understanding, less argumentation, without sacrificing principle. 14. And for the political caste in this country, the politicians who rule the regime, I recommend less compromise and more adherence to principles. 15. We need less of government, smaller government, less taxes; we need to dismantle the intrusive police state; for starters fire 25% of federal employees, cut all their salaries and benefits by 25%, of the 10,000 lawyers at the Department of Defense, fire half of them; of the 10,000 employees at the DOD making over 175,000 per year, cut their salaries by 40%. Right size government. Limit lobbying. Reduce taxes. Prohibit retired federal employees from working for lobbyists or contractors to the government. Put Medicare and Medicaid in the States’ hands. Eliminate the federal middle men. etc, etc, etc. Build a New World; Listen to Dvorak’s New World Symphony.

        1. William:

          Listening to symphonies while cutting the heads off people are not inconsistent. I’m sure among the ISIS barbarians you’ll find some who enjoy that music. Yet, it won’t stop them from murdering others. You see I’ve learned that there are good and bad people in the world; the latter one must be wary off. Just like people there are good and bad countries. The worst have been those that cling to the philosophy of communism. Accept it or not, they will always be antagonistic to freedom. The enslaved people of Eastern Europe did not get their freedom because we loved the Soviet Union and wanted to sing Kumbaya with its leaders.

          `1. If we withdraw from involvement in the world and let the bad countries have their way they will enventually want to take a bite out of us. It is our involvement that stood up Europe after WWII and made it into the bastion of freedom it now represents; it is our involvement that keeps most of the world’s democracies free from oppressors. One who forgets the past is doomed to repeat the ills of it. It was because Japan underestimated our country – the apocryphal words attributed to Admiral Yamamato – “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” point to that. If we forget the ghosts of the past we do so at our peril. The actions of Hilter in Germany with his concentration camps, genocide and master race theories remind us of how great evils rise when brutal governments are not kept at bay.
          `2 NATO is Napoleonic? What country did it invade and seize? NATO is a defensive alliance that never threatened Russia. It kept the Soviets out of the West during its early days. I agree we should focus on America. Our first step must be to reverse the ever increasing gap between the upper 1% and everyone else. None of that should call for us taking our eyes off of the increasing threats coming from those who despise us. I have no idea what you mean by “let NATO and Europe modernize.” We should urge them to get ready for an aggressive Russia who is now acting in a more aggressive manner than it did even during the Cold War. We have made ourselves the guarantor of European freedom and we cannot shirk from that responsibility to keep those civilized nations free from the jackbooted Russians. Europe is us as proclaimed by both President Kennedy and Reagan – and all other American presidents since WWII. Enough of Pat Buchanon who had said we should not have entered WWII and that it was our fault that Hitler acted as he did toward the Jews. You forgot Pakistan and North Korea as two other nuclear powers. I’ve never said we should go everywhere but we certainly must stick by our allies.
          `2 (a) McCain’s not to be feared but to be watched.
          `3 Yes, we should stop the CIA once the threats to our nation have disappeared. Your seem to keep going back to the Balkans. You never seem to accept that the actions back then have brought peace to that area that had known only war prior to that time.
          ‘4 Spare me giving credit to Russian for warning us about Tsarnaev – when the FBI asked for a follow-up on the information they gave us a cold stare. They didn’t warn about both brothers. Did you forget Russia invaded and seized Crimea; that it is actively murdering people in Eastern Ukraine, that it was responsible for shooting down a passenger airplane, that it is aggressively probing the territory of its neighbors. Putin has recently condemned the West. You can’t be serious when you say it is leaning West – that’s exactly what it is trying to prevent Ukraine from doing. Russia is a danger and to close your eyes to that is foolish.
          5 6The US has made mistakes but we do it in the name of freeing people not for the purpose of gaining territory or enslaving them.
          `7. You equate evil with good when you suggest Ukraine and Russia are equally responsible. What did Ukraine do to Russia other than seek to be free from its influence where speech is forbidden and those who assemble are imprisoned.
          `8 on to end: Not every viewpoint is correct. Suggesting we forget history is an example of it. Compromise is the art of politics – we never would have had a country if the original 13 states did not make major compromises – nor would the Civil War have ended without such. I don’t understand the “less government” argument other than some type of suggestion that the rich are not getting rich enough. Don’t you recognize the growing disparity in wealth among Americans? What do you suggest should be done about that?

    2. William:
      1. Half right – but thanks for the complement an my analyses.
      2. Kissinger the foreign policy genius never quite was my cup of tea. Where does he suggest we draw the line. I bet he feels we shoud still be in the Middle East – does he want us to let Japan and the Philippines fall under China’s rule – how about Australia.
      3. Friends require two sides.

  7. Didn’t the US Senate vote for regime change that year? Didn’t Kerry, Schumer and Hillary vote for regime change? Why are Russia and China our enemy? How many Americans have they killed in the last twenty years? Didn’t Putin try to help us by telling us Tsarnaev was a terrorist? Didn’t the FBI bungle that matter? We should stay out of the Sunni Shia disputes. We don’t have a dog in that fight. Our present enemy is AL Qaeda and ISIS, two Sunni Muslim terror groups. You are right about Iran. They have three times the land mass and three times as many people as Iraq. We couldn’t reform Iraq after eleven years, four thousand dead Americans and a trillion dollar expenditure. What price are we prepared to pay to fight Iran? Our power is limited. Fighting Iran would be lunacy. 2. If Iran gets a nuke are we going to war with them? What if China or Russia sold them a nuke would we have an all out nuclear war with them? I doubt it. 3. Those banging the drums for war with Iran are playing right into Rand Paul’s hands. The people favor his position over his party’s leadership. The majority sentiment in the country both Republican and Democratic is against war. Are the pols just posturing for their financial supporters? 3. Coakley lost because she alienated 100 thousand Cahill and O’Brien supporters with her fake indictments. The Globe ran a bogus poll in her favor when she ran against Brown claiming she was fifteen points ahead. That fake poll had no impact on the vote in 2010 and last weeks one had no impact either.

    1. NC:

      1. You mean to blame the democrats for the Iraq war? Sure some Democratic senators voted for the war but they were following the leaders. Russian and China are on the ascendeny – they haven’t killed any Americans yet but they’ve certainy killed others who are standing in their way. The Japanese never killed any Americans before December 7, 1941 nor did the Germans. Putin was helping himself not us. He feared Tsarnaev was hooking up with the Chechens.

      1. ISIS is not our enemy – it’s the enemy of the Arab states that don’t want to join the Caliphate and those that adhere to the Shiite beliefs. al Qaeda is our enemy having attacked us but its power is insignificant. The Muslims never interfered when the Christians fought; we should not interfere with their family dispute.

      2. Once Iran gets nukes we wouldn’t dare go to war with it. The idea is to stop it before it gets nukes. As I understand it we will attack it if the talks fail to come to a satisfactory agreement. Iran is banking on use getting so involved in the Syria/Iraq mess that we’ll hold our fire on it because we will need its help in that arena. Right now we are bombing the forces who have a real chance of overthrowing Assad because they are attacking the forces that we are supporting that have as much chance of overthrowing him as the Cornpoppers.

      Neither Russia or China would sell them nukes so that question is not on the table. North Korea may. Would we attack North Korea – absolutely not – it holds Seoul hostage. Pakistan may have done it but it hates Iran because of Iran’s relationship with Afghanistan.

      3. Ron Paul would have as much chance to win as that guy from Arizona Barry Goldwater; the major sentiment is neither for or against war – it is let Johnny fight the war as long as you let me be. That’s why we go on warring because no one gives a hoot one way or the other. The pols are not posturing. They are acting on behalf of the big money guys who want them to go to war. You have to understand that it is money that plays the tune. If enough of it plays a war chant then our leaders will do the best they can to please it.

      4. Coakley did alienate many of the Cahill and O’Briend supporters. But the Globe put the stake in her heart. You cannot be more wrong about the effect of polls. I have a poll right one here in my hand that proves polls do influence people. Is it true that Brown is going to Maine? If not, how long do you think he’ll stay in the granite state? Will Baker the Faker give him a job. What happened to that sticker you used to wear that said Brown for President?

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