Friday, August 24, 2012

Return of the NeoCons: What A GOP Victory Means for War and Peace

Ryan a Pawn in Neo-Con Return

By Tom Hayden
Beaver County Peace Links via

August 20, 2012 - Dan Senor, left, at a briefing on Saturday for the Romney campaign on a plane en route to Israel. (Photo: Stephen Crowley)The neo-conservatives have consolidated their plan for control of US foreign policy with the vice-presidential nomination of Paul Ryan.

Ryan is being briefed by Dan Senor, described mildly in the New York Times as "an expert on Israel and the Middle East." Senor, however, is anything but expert. He was the spokesperson, or spin-doctor, for the initial Coalition Provisional Authority, which occupied Iraq in 2003 with promises about democracy blooming after weapons of mass destruction were removed. Not since Vietnam had state propaganda so completely dominated the narrative, in keeping with the Pentagon/neo-con view that "the liberal media" caused the fall of Saigon.

Ever since, Senor, often armed with "fat briefing books under his arm,” has supplied Republicans with spin in furtherance of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and hawkish pro-Israeli forces represented by Sheldon Adelson. It was Senor who traveled with Romney to London, Israel and Poland on his recent foreign policy tour, and it was Senor who told the traveling media that Romney would support an Israeli strike on Iran.

Senor has achieved more respectability than Bush or Dick Cheney in Washington power circles, apparently by indefatigably showing up with briefing books, by his marriage to former CNN anchor Campbell Brown, his ties to wealthy hedge-fund investors, and political connections across the Beltway. He is the chief spokesman for a neo-con circle advising Romney, one including more controversial hard-liners such as Bush's UN ambassador John Bolton. Senor's sister, Wendy Singer, is the AIPAC representative in Israel.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Survey: Voters OK With Defense Cuts

Your tax dollars rusting away in the desert

Military Industrialists happy with politicians who ignore antiwar majority voters

By Sandra I. Erwin
Nation Defense via Beaver County Peace Links

The Pentagon and defense industry should be thankful that politicians don’t make military-spending decisions based on public opinion.

A survey unveiled this week by three non-profit organizations challenges the conventional wisdom on how Americans feel about military spending and whether defense budget cuts are needed to help tackle the nation’s debt.

Respondents said they would support slashing the Pentagon’s 2012 budget of $562 billion budget by up to $127 billion. The data gleaned from the survey suggests that the public is comfortable with a leaner, but well-equipped military.

Unlike the standard yea-or-nay polls that simply ask Americans whether they favor cutting defense, increasing it, or keeping it the same, a survey conducted by the Program for Public Consultation, Stimson and the Center for Public Integrity departed from the norm and provided 665 respondents with contextual information to help inform their answers.

Armed with detailed information about federal budget trends, military spending, defense strategy and weapon procurement planning documents — data not easily available to most Americans — most of the survey respondents supported cuts to various portions of the U.S. military budget.