Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Not Needed – A Return of the NeoCon War Party

If You Liked the Iraq War, You'll Love Romney's Foreign Policy

By Robert Creamer
Beaver County Peace Links via HuffPost

Romney's trip abroad has demonstrated that his foreign policy operation is "bush league" in more ways than one.

By now the entire world has gotten a chance to see that Mitt Romney is no foreign policy or diplomatic genius.

He went to Britain and insulted his host's preparation for the Olympic Games -- leading major British papers to run banner headlines like: "Mitt the Twitt" and "Nowhere Man."

He massively damaged whatever ability he might have had to broker Middle East peace were he elected president by theorizing that the economic difficulties of Palestinians stemmed from their inferior "culture."

On his visit to Poland, Romney received the endorsement of former Polish President and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa. The Polish Solidarity union itself -- with which Walesa is no longer associated -- responded by issuing a statement attacking Romney as an enemy of working people.

Romney's debut on the foreign policy stage opened to horrible reviews.

He seems to insult people wherever he travels. He has demonstrated that he is completely tone-deaf -- that he has no ability to understand what other people hear when he speaks. That's bad enough in domestic politics -- but it disqualifies a leader from effectively representing the interests of the United States in dealings with other countries.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Who Will Vote for the Antiwar Majority on Military Budgets?

Majorities in Both Red and Blue Districts Favor Deep Cuts in Defense Spending

Majorities in Districts with High Defense Spending Also Favor Cuts

Try the Interactive Defense Budget Exercise
Majority of Americans Willing to Make Defense Budget Cuts

A unique survey conducted by the Program for Public Consultation, the Stimson Center, and the Center for Public Integrity has found that substantial cuts to the defense budget are favored by majorities in both Red and Blue districts, as well as majorities in districts that benefit from high levels of defense spending.
In conducting this study, a representative sample of Americans were shown the 2012 defense budget from different perspectives and presented with arguments that experts make for and against cutting defense spending in 2013. Working online, they were then able to specify their preferred defense spending level.
Among those living in Red districts (i.e. ones represented by a Republican), 74% favored cutting defense; in Blue districts (represented by a Democrat), 80% favored cuts.

Overall, respondents living in districts benefiting from the highest level of defense spending were no less willing to cut than those in districts benefiting from much lower levels of defense spending. Three quarters of respondents in the top 10% of beneficiary districts favored reductions, and their average cut slightly exceeded that of the full sample. Overall there was no statistical correlation between the level of defense spending in a district and the level of support for defense cuts.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It’s Called the ‘Graveyard of Empires’ for a Reason


The American Defeat in Afghanistan

By Tom Hayden
Peace & Justice Resource Center

July 6, 2012 - The United States government is facing defeat in Afghanistan. But that is not a bad thing in comparison to the alternative: waging war for another decade.

The recent pledges of Western funding and non-NATO ally status are little more than a cover for the defeat the US government is facing in Afghanistan, the famed graveyard of empires. Afghanistan will not be a US outpost flanking China, nor a bonanza of mineral wealth for the easy taking, nor the vanguard of an Islamic Spring. The Taliban will not be defeated, nor the Karzai regime rendered stable.

As Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Policy, notes in the attachment below, the defeat will be covered up, because that is what governing elites do. Or, to borrow from the cruder language of Sarah Palin, the outcome will be lipstick on a pig.

There will be repercussions from the coming defeat. In Afghanistan, perhaps a renewed civil war. In the US and NATO, continued immunity for national-security elites from the consequences of their terrible judgments. A crippling political debate at home over “who lost Afghanistan?” And a cloud of confused depression for Americans who sent their sons and daughters into “the good war.”