Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Monday, November 25th, 2013.


Hyperbole, Much?

Obama Administration

Didn’t I mention recently that righties tend to exaggerate? Get a load of this

Munich II
By James Jay Carafano

No, that’s not a facile, partisan jab. What just went down in Geneva is, in fact, a replay of the greatest diplomatic tragedy of the 20th century.

The Munich deal rested on the ridiculous notion that Hitler could be satiated. The new pact builds on the equally ludicrous idea that Iran would give up the means to build a nuclear weapon that will serve as the tip of its foreign-policy spear.

Seriously. Carafano — vice president of foreign- and defense-policy studies at the Heritage Foundation — went there. And they wonder why we laugh at them.

Carafano says that the only outcome acceptable to right-thinking Americans is regime change, and sanctions must not be modified until the current regime utterly collapses. The possibility — probability, seems to me — that a new regime might be even more radical and anti-western than the old one is not on Carafano’s radar.

John Holbo explains why Carafano’s preferred scenario boils down to, oh, what the bleep, let’s just nuke ’em now. In Carafano’s world, potential enemies are enemies, period, and they must be treated with extreme prejudice and not be allowed any opportunities to moderate or become less of a threat. We make sure they remain enemies until they do something awful enough that we are justified in killing them.

It’s a bit like the righties who say they never hear about moderate Muslims, which is mostly because their definition of “Muslim” is “psychopath anti-Christian mad-dog terrorists who wear strange clothes.”

There was an article in the September 2013 issue of Harper‘s that described in detail exactly how the sanctions are affecting Iran, and it’s actually pretty horrific and not, I don’t think, likely to win the good will of the Iranian people. So if we want to compare Iran to the Third Reich, we might consider how a nation became radicalized by a policy of humiliation and economic hardship. Anything that smacks of “appeasement” is anathema to the Right, but I don’t recall when rock-hard rigidity ever forced a good outcome, either.

See also “How Bush Let Iran Go Nuclear.”

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A Tale of Two States

Obama Administration

Just want to point your attention to a couple of items in the NY Times. The first, Right vs. Left in the Midwest, looks at the neighbor states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. In 2010 gubernatorial elections Wisconsin elected Scott Walker; Minnesota elected the progressive Mark Dayton of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. Minnesota has been more progressive even as Wisconsin lurched right. So guess which state is enjoying economic growth and which isn’t?

The other is Two Gunshots On a Summer Night, an in-depth look at the death of a young woman that was ruled a suicide, but which probably wasn’t. The woman’s boyfriend was a deputy sheriff, and he claimed the shooting was a suicide, and his brother-cops just believed him and barely investigated. It’s a chilling thing to read, and in some ways reminds me of how the cops handled Trayvon Martin’s shooting.

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