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Douglas Carpenter

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Corry (Erie County), Pennsylvania 16407
Home country: USA
Current location: Saipan, U.S. Commonweath of the Northern Mariana Islands
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2005, 08:56 PM
Number of posts: 19,019

Journal Archives

Israeli ex-intel chief slams PM's Iran stance

Source: Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) — The former head of Israel's Shin Bet security agency has accused the country's political leaders of exaggerating the effectiveness of a possible military attack on Iran, in a striking indication of Israel's turmoil over how to deal with the Iranian nuclear program.

Yuval Diskin said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak — who have been saber-rattling for months — have their judgment clouded by "messianic feelings" and should not be trusted to lead policy on Iran. Diskin, who headed Shin Bet until last year, said a strike might actually accelerate the Iranian program.


snip:

In Israel, security figures carry clout well into retirement. Although they frequently pursue political careers, Diskin had been seen as relatively apolitical, perhaps lending his words even greater weight.

"I don't have faith in the current leadership of Israel to lead us to an event of this magnitude, of war with Iran," Diskin said at a public meeting Friday, video of which was posted on the Internet the next day and quickly became the lead news item in Israel.

"I do not believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on Messianic feelings," he continued. "I have seen them up close. They are not messiahs, these two, and they are not the people that I personally trust to lead Israel into such an event."




Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/israeli-ex-intel-chief-slams-pms-iran-stance-130242419.html
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Apr 28, 2012, 02:25 PM (2 replies)

Egypt 'necrophilia law'? Hooey, utter hooey.

Source: Christian Science Monitor

'Necrophilia law'? Don't believe everything you read on the Internet, kids. At least until there's like, you know, some proof.

By Dan Murphy, Staff writer / April 26, 2012

Today, Egypt's state-owned Al Ahram newspaper published an opinion piece by Amr Abdul Samea, a past stalwart supporter of the deposed Hosni Mubarak, that contained a bombshell: Egypt's parliament is considering passing a law that would allow husbands to have sex with their wives after death.


It was soon mentioned in an English language version of Al-Arabiya and immediately started zipping around social-networking sites. By this afternoon it had set news sites and the rest of the Internet on fire. It has every thing: The yuck factor, "those creepy Muslims" factor, the lulz factor for those with a sick sense of humor. The non-fact-checked Daily Mail picked it up and reported it as fact. Then Andrew Sullivan, who has a highly influential blog but is frequently lax about fact-checking, gave it a boost with an uncritical take. The Huffington Post went there, too.

There's of course one problem: The chances of any such piece of legislation being considered by the Egyptian parliament for a vote is zero. And the chance of it ever passing is less than that. In fact, color me highly skeptical that anyone is even trying to advance a piece of legislation like this through Egypt's parliament. I'm willing to be proven wrong. It's possible that there's one or two lawmakers completely out of step with the rest of parliament.

Read more:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Backchannels/2012/0426/Egypt-necrophilia-law-Hooey-utter-hooey

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Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Apr 28, 2012, 12:17 PM (2 replies)

Egypt 'necrophilia law'? Hooey, utter hooey.

Source: Christian Science Monitor

'Necrophilia law'? Don't believe everything you read on the Internet, kids. At least until there's like, you know, some proof.

By Dan Murphy, Staff writer / April 26, 2012

Today, Egypt's state-owned Al Ahram newspaper published an opinion piece by Amr Abdul Samea, a past stalwart supporter of the deposed Hosni Mubarak, that contained a bombshell: Egypt's parliament is considering passing a law that would allow husbands to have sex with their wives after death.


It was soon mentioned in an English language version of Al-Arabiya and immediately started zipping around social-networking sites. By this afternoon it had set news sites and the rest of the Internet on fire. It has every thing: The yuck factor, "those creepy Muslims" factor, the lulz factor for those with a sick sense of humor. The non-fact-checked Daily Mail picked it up and reported it as fact. Then Andrew Sullivan, who has a highly influential blog but is frequently lax about fact-checking, gave it a boost with an uncritical take. The Huffington Post went there, too.

There's of course one problem: The chances of any such piece of legislation being considered by the Egyptian parliament for a vote is zero. And the chance of it ever passing is less than that. In fact, color me highly skeptical that anyone is even trying to advance a piece of legislation like this through Egypt's parliament. I'm willing to be proven wrong. It's possible that there's one or two lawmakers completely out of step with the rest of parliament.

Read more: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Backchannels/2012/0426/Egypt-necrophilia-law-Hooey-utter-hooey
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:17 AM (7 replies)

Two stupid lies the right spread this week: No, there's no new pro-necrophilia law in Egypt, and the

EPA isn't "crucifying" all oil companies by Alex Pareene for salon.com




The (now updated) Daily Mail story that launched the necrophilia myth(Credit: Daily Mail)


There’s no such law or even any evidence that anyone proposed said law, and even if someone had proposed such a law, there is not even a remote possibility that the Egyptian Parliament would consider it. It’s total bullshit. It’s the Daily Mail overhyping a story Al-Arabiya took from a newspaper opinion column written by a dedicated Hosni Mubarak supporter.

The Christian Science Monitor’s Dan Murphy explained as much yesterday, but the people who highlight specious stories like this don’t actually care about “accuracy”; they are just engaged in a propaganda campaign designed to tar all Muslims as violent radical pervert monsters who are slowly taking over the West.

Number 2: That Obama EPA person said they were going to “crucify” the oil industry. This is a much bigger story (though it is still limited almost entirely to the conservative press) because it was first spread by an actual senator: James Inhofe, the Senate’s worst pilot and best friend of oil and gas. And then it was on Fox, obviously.

And it has now become a regular talking point, that Obama’s EPA is “crucifying” oil companies. (Which is bad because oil companies give us our precious life-giving oil!)

Of course the guy, an administrator named Al Armendariz, was specifically talking about going after companies that broke the law. The idea is that the EPA would punish companies that violated the law, because that is the EPA’s whole deal. (Some people think there shouldn’t be any environmental laws and no EPA, but instead of making that argument, they are instead making the untrue claim, based on words taken out of context, that Obama’s EPA is unfairly punishing all oil companies for no reason.)

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/27/two_stupid_lies_the_right_spread_this_week/singleton/



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Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:45 AM (13 replies)

Robert Kagan says the U.S. goes to war because the American people want them -- and both candidates

are listening

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012 10:00 PM 00:22:37 UTC+1000

Do Americans love war?


By Jefferson Morley


Mitt Romney, Bob Kagan and Barack Obama (Credit: AP/Wikipedia/Salon)


In a much-noted passage in his State of the Union address, Obama echoed Kagan’s argument that America, despite a decade of war and a near-bankrupt economy, is not a declining or foolish power but the world’s indispensable nation. “Anybody who says America is in decline doesn’t know what they’re talking about,” Obama declared after making a point of letting Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin know he had recommended Kagan’s thesis (as excerpted in the ) to his advisors. Kagan also serves on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, whose agenda is “shaped by the questions and concerns of the Secretary.”

At the same time, Kagan’s bona fides as a Republican hawk are indisputable. He got his start in the State Department under Reagan and wrote with Bill Kristol in 1996 “Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy,” the foundational document of modern Republican foreign policy. Unsurprisingly, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. He serves on the board of directors of the Foreign Policy Initiative, a conservative think tank that routinely finds fault with Obama’s leadership. Kagan now advises Romney, saying he has met regularly with the candidate over the years, most recently for a few hours last summer. Bipartisanship in U.S. foreign policy is alive and well — with a neoconservative flavor.

“I actually believe in a bipartisan foreign policy, not for its own sake,” Kagan tells Salon, “but because I think there actually is a bipartisan consensus on foreign policy. There are plenty of neoconservatives in the Obama administration and there were plenty in the Clinton administration, if you would define ‘neoconservative’ as I would. What’s lost on people not in Washington is how close this community really is.”

Military interventions have occurred “under Democratic presidents, Republican presidents, idealist realists, you name it,” Kagan explains. “America keeps returning to these policies.” People may be sick of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he argues, but polls show support is high for an attack on Iran.

“So even as the American people tire of one war, they’re getting ready for the next one,” he says. “If this system is warlike, it’s the tendency that flows from the public.”

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/17/do_americans_love_war/singleton/
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Apr 17, 2012, 10:27 AM (12 replies)

Liberals arguing that the U.S. should give weapons to Syrian rebels underestimate Assad's power

This article is from more than a year ago - but I think the points are still very, very relevant. I strongly recommend reading this article in full - in salon.com by Gary Kamiya:

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/13/dont_arm_syrias_rebels/singleton/



snips:

This is not a knee-jerk left-wing response. It has nothing to do with Iraq. Nor does it have anything to do with the proxy war between the U.S. and its allies and Iran and its allies. It is not driven by pacifism or opposition to all war. All U.S. wars are not axiomatically foolish, evil or driven by brutal self-interest (although most of them since World War II have been). The airstrikes on Kosovo and the Libya campaign were justified (although the jury is still out on the latter intervention). If arming the Syrian opposition would result in fewer deaths and a faster transition to a peaceful, open, democratic society, we should arm them.

That analysis has been provided by a number of in-depth reports, most notably a new study by the International Crisis Group, as well as the excellent on-the-ground reporting of Nir Rosen for Al-Jazeera. The bottom line is simple. The war has become a zero-sum game for Assad. If he loses, he dies. But the only way he can lose is if he is abandoned by his crucial external patron, Russia, which is extremely unlikely to happen absent some slaughter so egregious that Moscow feels it has to cut ties with him. Assad has sufficient domestic support to hold on for a long time, and a huge army that is not likely to defect en masse. Under these circumstances, giving arms to the rebels, however much it may make conscience-stricken Western observers feel better, will simply make the civil war much bloodier and its outcome even more chaotic and dangerous.

The key point concerns Assad’s domestic support. Contrary to the widely held belief that most Syrians support the opposition and are opposed to the Assad regime, Syrians are in fact deeply divided. The country’s minorities – the ruling Alawites, Christians and Druze – tend to support the regime, if only because they fear what will follow its downfall. (The grocery on my corner in San Francisco is owned by a Christian Syrian from a village outside Damascus. When I asked him what he thought about what was going on in his country, he said, “It’s not like what you see on TV. Assad is a nice guy. He’s trying to do the right thing.”) As Rosen makes clear, Syria’s ruling Alawite minority is the key to Assad’s survival: Absent an outside invasion, the regime will not fall unless the Alawites turn on it. But the Alawites fear reprisals if the Sunni-dominated opposition, some of whose members have threatened to “exterminate the Alawites,” defeats the Assad regime. The fear of a sectarian war, exacerbated by the murky and incoherent nature of the opposition, means that the minorities are unlikely to join the opposition in large numbers.

...

Our national instinct is to come riding to the rescue. It goes against our character to simply sit on our hands. Our sincere, naive and self-centered belief that America can fix everything, and our equally sincere, naive and self-centered belief that moral outrage justifies intervention, is a powerful tide, pulling us toward getting directly involved in Syria’s civil war.

But in the real world, we cannot always come riding to the rescue. Sometimes, we have no choice but to watch tragedy unfold, because anything we do will create an even bigger tragedy.

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/13/dont_arm_syrias_rebels/singleton/

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Apr 14, 2012, 10:18 AM (13 replies)

Koch Brothers Exposed: the Film (trailer)





"Every person in this country who cares about democracy
should care about this work."
– Ed Schultz


For more information about the film and hosting a viewing or purchasing the DVD:

http://www.kochbrothersexposed.com/

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Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Apr 3, 2012, 12:57 PM (0 replies)
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