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Monthly Archives: October 2009
John Kerry was the toast of the spoon-fed media last week for his ostensible “achievement” in cajoling Hamid Karzai into accepting a runoff election in Afghanistan. Where was Richard Holbrooke, the sophisticates who indulge in Beltway kremlinology asked, as if his absence from this supposed “breakthrough” moment was telling. The reality, of course, is that Kerry’s insistence on standing behind Karzai, as if twisting the visibly uncomfortable U.S.-installed president’s arm as he announced a humiliating retraction of his insistence that he’d won the election on its first round, simply confirmed that the failed U.S. presidential candidate from Massachusetts is a political dolt. But the announcement — a delicious propaganda moment for the Taliban, who insist that Karzai is an obedient servant of the U.S. — was not half as damaging as the political gambit it showcased: Forcing Karzai to accept a runoff election which even the U.S. knows is a farce — so much so, that Washington is now hard at work trying to press Karzai into a power sharing deal so as to avoid the very runoff they had insisted was a precondition for sending more troops. Continue reading
The surest sign that another neocon bill of goods is being hawked in respect of the Iran “nuclear peril” is the revival of Rumsfeld-esque “unknowable unknowns”, a la Iraq WMD panic circa late 2002. In the real world, of course, solid progress is being made towards a plausible diplomatic deal to strengthen safeguards against Iran weaponizing the nuclear material it is producing. (See my latest on this at TIME.com)
But in the fevered world of the neocons, which the New York Time has, once again, bought into wholesale, the progress is illusory; Iran is playing games by only showing us the tip of the iceberg. Utterly shameless in its willingness to repeat the Judith Miller debacle, the Times tells us that Iran at Geneva agreed “to send most of its openly declared enriched uranium” to Russia for reprocessing into fuel rods for a medical research facility. Twice more in the story it uses the phrase “declared stockpile” — unmistakably signaling the reader that he or she ought to believe that Iran, of course, has other stocks of enriched uranium that are undeclared. Continue reading