Well, I suppose I need to mention the new NIE and Iran. So far, just about every web site I visit on any regular/semi-regular basis has had at least one comment on this topic. So, here is my "take" on it.
First off, the NIE is good news. I see it that way because it eliminates at least one "reason" for Shrub/Cheney to start a war with Iran. No nuclear weapons program. What weapons program they did have was ended in 2003 and has NOT been re-started as of now. Very good news, because our "leaders" cannot use the Iranian nuclear bomb, or very near to having an Iranian nuclear bomb as a reason to attack Iran. Very good news, in my opinion.
Now the not quite so good news on this. It just means that Shrub/Cheney will have to actually work at trying to come up with another reason to attack Iran. I have no doubt that they have been at this since they had a preview of the NIE this past summer.
Notice that the "leadership" of Israel has stated that OUR intelligence services have got the Iran nuclear weapons thing all wrong. According to some Israeli sources, Iran could still have "the bomb" by some time in 2008! Wow, we never figured they were that close, or did we? I would guess that Benny Nutty-Yahoo (misspelled incorrectly ON PURPOSE) is hopping mad about the NIE regarding Iran and a nuclear weapon. My guess is that he and "Mr. 5 deferments" Cheney still want a war with Iran no matter what excuse they need to manufacture to get that war. It never fails to amaze me how some folks are so damn gung-ho for war. It is usually people who have never worn the uniform of any military. Have never fired a shot in anger/self defence. And they have never been shot at or had their buddies killed or wounded while standing or sitting right next to them. They are people who have never experienced war "up close and personal". Yet, they are some of the loudest "cheerleaders" FOR war, any war, or even every war. Where in the hell do these damn fools come from? Are they born with this brain damage or did they suffer some very traumatic injury during early childhood? There has to be a valid reason for their adamant fervor for war. In my opinion, it is totally irrational. But hell, I am just an old, former Marine and a veteran of the imperial "adventure" in Vietnam. Guess that disqualifies me and my opinion from this war "debate" thing.
OK, that is all I have to say on that issue. I will just add that I really hope that we will be able to avoid any war with Iran, not just for the remainder of the Shrub administration, but for the foreseeable future as well, no matter who gets "elected" in 2008. If I were religious, I might even pray to some god or other for that wish to come true. Perhaps if anybody who reads this and IS religious might pray to her/his god for that wish to come true. All of the world would thank you for that prayer.
This next topic has a sort of tie-in to the Iran deal, but not quite a direct one. I just finished reading a very interesting book. It it "Homo Americanus: Child of the Post-Modern Age" by Tomislaw Sunic. It is quite interesting and only about 200 pages long. He presents some very interesting ideas in his book. He also mentioned something I have been curious about. This is where the tie-in comes about. He mentions that there COULD be a backlash of real anti-Semitism in America from the propaganda of AIPAC and the Christian Zionists. This is something I have been wondering about for some years now. Not obsessively mind you, but more of a curiosity to me. Sort of an "I wonder if......" type of feeling I have had. The reason is based on life experiences. We have all seen how when we are constantly told/lectured one way on a particular topic, after some time, we rebel against those "teachings". This does concern me, in that we really could see the rise of a very violent anti-Semitism here in America. I hope we never do, but we have been force fed so much propaganda (aka crap and bullshit) about how Israel is the only democratic country in the middle east. How poor little Israel is surrounded by hostile forces set on the absolute destruction of Israel. How Israel is an indispensable ally to America.
Well, my opinion is all of that is just a cart load of bullshit. Oh, and we give/pay Israel about $3 billion every year for them to be our "indispensable ally" as well. What sort of friend is it that you have to pay to be your friend? Maybe somebody will let me know the answer to that one.
Israel is not very democratic if you are not a Jew living in Israel. Non Jews do not have the benefits of living in a democracy if they live in Israel. Israel is a Jewish state. Even one of the Israeli news outlets had a story on the racism in Israel. The results surprised even the Israelis. They hadn't realized how really racist they are. That doesn't sound very democratic to me.
Israel is surrounded by Arab countries, but, Israel has approximately 200 nuclear bombs. Not just old atomic bombs either. They have hydrogen bombs, aka thermo-nuclear weapons. These are much more powerful than "regular" atomic bombs. Don't take my word for it, Google thermo-nuclear weapons and atomic bombs. Check Wikipedia also. Now Israel has never admitted to having these weapons. Israel has never signed on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty either. Their nuclear facilities have never been inspected by any "outside" source, such as the IAEA. Now, Iran DID sign the NPT and Iran HAS been inspected, many times, by the IAEA. It was the IAEA, that found, along with ALL 16 US intelligence agencies, that Iran is NOT working on a nuclear weapon.
Israel also has the most powerful, best equipped, and best trained military in the entire mid east. There are no countries in that region that are a credible threat to destroy Israel. If any of them did mount a full scale attack on Israel, and if Israel felt their survival was at stake, Israel could just launch a few of those "undeclared" nukes and that would end any "threat" to Israel.
One other thing. The Zionists claim that the country of Israel has a "right" to exist. Wrong! NO country has the "right" to exist. Not even America. PEOPLE have the right to exist. Countries do not. Israel also demands that it is and shall be a Jewish nation. Well, OK, but that doesn't make it a democracy. It makes it a theocratic nation. It also tends to make it racist, in my opinion. It enables the leadership to revoke the "rights" of any non Jew who lives in Israel, just because they are non Jews.Freedom, but only for Jews. OK, but don't tell me how "democratic" the country is, because I don't think it can be when the rights of some residents of the country are denied civil rights because they are not the "correct" religion.
I'm going to keep this entry short. My back is hurting very bad tonight. I do want to close with another book that I just recently started to read. It is "Delusional Democracy" subtitled "Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government"; by Joel Hirschhorn. I would recommend this book and I am just on page 79 out of a total of 255 pages. So far, it is very good, though much of it to now I knew. Still I have learned a good bit even at this early stage of the book. Very well written, easy to read, good sized print for old eyes even. He doesn't use specialized terms or $15 words either. Simple language and easy to understand. If I remember, even with shipping as a single book order from Amazon.com it was still less than $20. Makes a very good Christmas present for any American who want to help save our country from both of our two party duopoly. Or, maybe your local library has it on the shelves. Check it out.