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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, 07:56 PM
Number of posts: 20,226

Journal Archives

Top Iran Expert Vali Nasr: Sanction will not work and might lead to war - Foreign Policy Magazine

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Jan 31, 2012, 10:25 AM (0 replies)

Asia Times: Growing elite opposition to strike on Iran - By Jim Lobe

a VERY important article that should be read in full by everyone



Adding to the sense that war was suddenly a very real possibility, these events more or less coincided with the publication by the influential Foreign Affairs journal of an article entitled "Time to Attack Iran: Why a Strike is the Least Bad Option''. It advocated a limited and carefully calibrated US aerial attack on Iran's air defenses and nuclear sites, and was authored by an academic, Matthew Kroenig, who had just completed a one-year stint as a strategic analyst in the office of the secretary of defense.

The confluence of all these developments provoked a number of influential members of the foreign policy establishment - including several prominent liberal interventionists who had supported the Iraq war - to warn against any further escalation either by the US or Israel.


"As before, we're letting a bunch of ignorant, sloppy-thinking politicians and politicized foreign-policy experts draw 'red line' ultimatums. As before, we're letting them quick-march us off to war," warned Gelb, a repentant Iraq-war hawk, about the chorus of neo-conservatives and other hawks with whom he had previously been aligned.


On the pages of The New Republic, Kenneth Pollack, a former top Central Intelligence Agency analyst at the Brookings Institution whose 2002 book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, was cited frequently by liberal hawks before the war, argued not only against any further escalation, but also suggested that the sanctions track on which the Barack Obama administration and the European Union have increasingly relied was proving counter-productive.


Meanwhile, another influential liberal hawk, Princeton Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, argued in project-syndicate.org that the West and Iran were playing a "dangerous game" of "chicken" and that the West's current course "leaves Iran's government no alternative between publicly backing down, which it will not do, and escalating its provocations."

a VERY important article that should be read in full by everyone


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Jan 28, 2012, 09:53 AM (3 replies)

Saudi Arabia pivots toward Asia By Peter Lee for Asia Times

a somewhat long article with a sophisticated understanding of the shift of power at work in the region..One must read the article in full:


some interesting snips:

BP's most recent energy outlook report predicts that the United States will become almost self-sufficient in energy by 2030, thanks to exploitation of its shale oil and gas resources.
Specifically, the geopolitical implication is that, if the United States does not need the Middle East for energy security, it will lose much of its motivation to meddle in the region, at least in the immense nation-destroying, budget-busting tradition of the Iraq wars.


Maybe, just maybe, the United States will wash its hands of the intractable Middle East and sail on to Asia in a search for the 21st century heart of wealth and power. That's bad news for Israel and for Saudi Arabia, both of whom rely on United States backing to buttress their shaky fortunes in the region ... fortunes that have become more perilous with the advent of the Arab Spring, and the evaporation of local authoritarian and/or pro-US regimes that were quite happy to coexist with Israeli high-handedness and narrow Saudi autocracy.


Saudi Arabia, an autocracy that serves as the defender of a religion politically toxic in the United States - and, as the BP report indicates, facing displacement from the center of US economic and energy concerns - has to think about Plan B. Plan B is Asia: India, China, South Korea and Japan.

China is perhaps already Saudi Arabia's largest customer, taking 1 million barrels per day (bpd - one-fifth of its requirement) and currently making up for the demand shortfall from economically straitened Europe. How China's surging demand and Saudi Arabia's maturing oil and gas industry will complement each other is a fraught and interesting question.


This article is a bit too detailed and complicated and copyright requirements don't allow me to post much more - but for those who are interested in a more advanced understanding of the shifts of influence - I strongly recommend reading this article in full.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jan 26, 2012, 10:23 AM (1 replies)

The GOP Brotherhood of Egypt:: Egypt's Islamists are actually led by free-market businessmen

By Avi Asher-Schapiro for salon.com

While Western alarmists often depict Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood as a shadowy organization with terrorist ties, the Brotherhood’s ideology actually has more in common with America’s Republican Party than with al-Qaida. Few Americans know it but the Brotherhood is a free-market party led by wealthy businessmen whose economic agenda embraces privatization and foreign investment while spurning labor unions and the redistribution of wealth. Like the Republicans in the U.S., the financial interests of the party’s leadership of businessmen and professionals diverge sharply from those of its poor, socially conservative followers.

The Brotherhood, which did not initially support the revolution that began a year ago, reaped its benefits, capturing nearly half the seats in the new parliament, which was seated this week, and vaulting its top leaders into positions of power.

Arguably the most powerful man in the Muslim Brotherhood is Khairat Al-Shater, a multimillionaire tycoon whose financial interests extend into electronics, manufacturing and retail. A strong advocate of privatization, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Muslim Brotherhood businessmen who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party’s impressive electoral victory this winter and is now crafting the FJP’s economic agenda.


Speaking to Reuters in November, Hassan Malek, a textile mogul and Brotherhood financier, emphasized that the Brothers “want to attract as much foreign investment as possible … and this needs a big role for the private sector.” Just last week, Malek was tapped by the Brotherhood to head up the newly formed “Egyptian Business and Investment Association,” a coalition of leading Brotherhood businessmen working to promote private investment.

interesting article:


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jan 26, 2012, 10:02 AM (0 replies)

Philippines may allow greater U.S. presence in latest reaction to China’s rise

Zachary S. Welch/AP - Two decades after evicting U.S. forces from their biggest base in the Pacific, the Philippines is in talks with the Obama administration about expanding the American military presence in the island nation, the latest in a series of strategic moves aimed at China.

By Craig Whitlock, Updated: Thursday, January 26, 7:29 AM
Two decades after evicting U.S. forces from their biggest base in the Pacific, the Philippines is in talks with the Obama administration about expanding the American military presence in the island nation, the latest in a series of strategic moves aimed at China.

Although negotiations are in the early stages, officials from both governments said they are favorably inclined toward a deal. They are scheduled to intensify their discussions Thursday and Friday in Washington prior to higher-level meetings in March. If an arrangement is reached, it would follow other recent agreements to base thousands of U.S. Marines in northern Australia and station Navy warships in Singapore.

Among the options under consideration are operating Navy ships from the Philippines, deploying troops on a rotational basis and staging more frequent joint exercises. Under each of the scenarios, U.S. forces would effectively serve as guests at existing foreign bases.

The sudden rush by many in the Pacific region to embrace Washington is a direct reaction to China’s rise as a military power and its assertiveness in staking claims to disputed territories, such as the energy-rich South China Sea.

read more:

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Jan 25, 2012, 05:21 PM (3 replies)

Rasmussen: National Poll: Gingrich 35%, Romney 28%, Santorum 16%, Paul 10%:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

After his game-changing win in South Carolina, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues to ride his surge to the front of the pack among likely Republican primary voters nationwide. He now leads Mitt Romney by seven points.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely GOP Primary Voters shows Gingrich with 35% of the vote, representing an eight-point increase in support from last week. Former Massachusetts Governor Romney now draws 28%. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s support is little changed at 16%, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul picks up 10%


68% of Republicans Think Gingrich As Ethical as Other Politicians


Florida GOP Primary: Gingrich 41%, Romney 32%

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:57 AM (4 replies)

Jury sides with Muslim guard in harassment case

Jury sides with Muslim guard in harassment case

A San Francisco jury has awarded $465,400 to a Muslim of African descent who quit his job as a security guard after a co-worker called him a "goddamn terrorist," supervisors made racist comments and a top company official endorsed a statement that "Muslims kill people."

The Superior Court jury found Thursday that Abas Idris' employer, Andrews International, was responsible for harassment and a hostile work environment that forced Idris to resign, and awarded him $65,400 for lost wages and emotional distress. On Monday, the jury added $400,000 in punitive damages.

Idris, 27, said today he's had other security jobs both before and after his 2 1/2-year stint with Andrews, but none in which "co-workers and superiors were referring to me as a terrorist or referring to me as al Qaeda."

He said the court case allowed him to stand up for his rights and to make it clear that "Islam is a religion of peace."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/24/BA361MTPF5.DTL
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Jan 25, 2012, 01:57 AM (2 replies)

Newt Gingrich Vs Mitt Romney 2012 Ad

I realize Ron Paul's people put out this add - but in spite of that - it is still a good add that makes some great points.
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Mon Jan 23, 2012, 02:08 PM (0 replies)

"When Mitt Romney Came to Town" - the full 28 minute version has now been released - Here it is!!

Of course it is quite awesome that a Super Pac connected to Newt Gingrich is the financial power behind this film. We know the public dialogue has changed when Newt Gingrich is making the left-wing case against predatory capitalism in a film that could have been directed by Michael Moore or Amy Goodman. However, cynical this maneuver was on the part of Gingrich's people - it is nonetheless good for our side. I think this may be a one of those rare occasions where we can join our misguided friends at Free Republic and try to get this film to go viral across the Internet. That fact that right-wingers are behind the film only makes it more credible in reaching people who may not be open minded to a film that was backed by a progressive group.

Here is the direct website to view it in full:



you can see it on youtube in two parts:

part 1:



part 2




May I strongly suggest posting this film on your Facebook page or personal website and everywhere else and sending it to EVERYONE on your E-mail list everywhere... And don't forget to remind people that this is a REPUBLICAN film. We wouldn't want them to think it is biased against conservatives, would we?

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jan 12, 2012, 02:07 PM (9 replies)

Ron Paul: His anti-interventionist positions can't salvage a reactionary philosophy by Gary Weiss

from salon.com


I wonder how many of his young liberal fans are aware of his views on scholarships and low-interest loans for college students—that there shouldn’t be any? In a speech inserted in the Congressional Record of April 22, 1998 entitled “Education in America is Facing a Crisis,” Paul talked up his rather innocuous (and sensible) idea to exempt from taxation income earned by farm kids at 4-H and Future Farmers of America fairs. “We say the only way a youngster could ever go to college is if we give them a grant, if we give them a scholarship, if we give them a student loan. And what is the record on payment on student loans? Not very good. A lot of them walk away.”


Paul again channeled Rand on July 20, 1998. Explaining his opposition to a child nutrition and WIC plan reauthorization bill, he attacked the “flawed redistributionist, welfare state model that lies behind this bill.” Then he launched into another monologue:

“Providing for the care of the poor is a moral responsibility of every citizen,” he said. “However, it is not a proper function of the Federal Government to plunder”—that’s straight out of Rand—“one group of citizens and redistribute those funds to another group of citizens. Nowhere in the United States Constitution is the Federal Government authorized to provide welfare services. If any government must provide welfare services, it should be State and local governments. However, the most humane and efficient way to provide charitable services are through private efforts.


Paul’s views are rooted in the narrow, Randian view of liberty as extending only to the person, not to groups of people. That sounds elegant until you realize what it means: no consumer legislation, no civil rights legislation, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and, as was a hot topic in 1998, no hate-crime legislation.

His foreign policy views don’t salvage him. Some on the left conflate his 1930s-style, right-wing isolationism with their opposition to the “American empire.” Pretty much everything that Paul has to say about America’s role in the world could have, and did, come from Charles Lindbergh at America First rallies. Or Robert Taft, the New Deal foe and leading isolationist of the pre-war era, whom Paul cited by name in a speech to his supporters Tuesday night. Paul’s isolationism is the isolationism of Ayn Rand, who, like Lindbergh and Taft—and Paul—opposed U.S. participation in World War II. Like Paul, she was opposed to the United Nations—and yes, also opposed the Vietnam War, the military draft, and the war on drugs.

read full article:


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Jan 5, 2012, 10:25 AM (1 replies)
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