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Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Condoleeza Rice requires no introduction from me.  Her resumé accompanies her name.  When I read, last week, that Rutgers faculty voted to disinvite her from speaking at commencement where she is to be bestowed a doctor of laws degree, my first reaction was rather liberal arts.   All sides deserve a hearing.   Why silence this one?

On further reflection, and upon reading reports about this faculty vote, I wondered how,  if  Condi is so “heavily political”,  any politician could ever be invited to speak at any Rutgers event again without the double-standard card coming up.

French professor François Cornilliat criticized Rice’s selection as “heavily political”, asserting that “our students are being manipulated to deliver a political point.”

Mon Dieu!  This sounded  like 1950-something!  As if Alger Hiss had been invited.  (But, then, French departments have a habit of being behind the times.)

What is a liberal arts education if it forbids light to be shed on one side of the spectrum?  Either side?  And how, given this dictum and precedent,  does Rutgers ever host or bestow honors on any politician again?

No stranger to campus politics,  I concluded that the faculty had shot itself in the foot.  Good luck ever getting Hillary Clinton,  I thought.   Y’all just slammed that door closed – and locked it!

Seems I am not the only one who saw this implication.

Memo to Rutgers: Don’t Boycott Condi Now If You Won’t Boycott Hillary Later

When it comes to Iraq, don’t selectively throw shade.

Posted: March 8 2014 1:08 PM

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Condoleezza Rice; Hillary Clinton
FILES/AFP/Getty Images; FILES/AFP/Getty Images

Put me down as a skeptic when it comes to Condoleezza Rice.

Although she’s generally applauded for her barrier-breaking career in public service, as the first African-American woman to serve as secretary of state and national security adviser, “her signature ‘achievement’ in public life,” as I wrote a couple of years ago, “was co-signing Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq—one of the worst foreign policy blunders in American history.”

It’s not exactly a great resume item, and it’s probably why she’s faded from view.

And while I wouldn’t put it quite the way they did, I also can’t really argue with the criticism offered earlier this week by the Rutgers University faculty council, who said Rice “played a prominent role in [the Bush] administration’s effort to mislead the American people about the presence of weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq.

It’s why they’re urging their administration to replace Rice, who’s keynoting this year’s Rutgers commencement ceremony—which is their prerogative—and they’ve got every right to feel strongly about the issue. A lot of folks probably agree with them.

Rice, of course, maintains that she made the best judgment she could at the time, acknowledging in retrospect that she and her colleagues “could have done better.”

But whether or not the Rutgers faculty accepts Rice’s version of events, if they’re prepared to snub her at this point, then down the road they might also want to prepare to snub Hillary Clinton, because she, too, co-signed the invasion of Iraq.

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At the time she cast that vote I agreed with her thinking – believing that it was right to accord those powers as she defined them.  I still stand by her words on that vote at that time.  I have never had a problem with that vote as it stood then.

If Condoleeza Rice is too heavily political and thereby should be banned from campus events, who is not?  Who can speak at Rutgers now?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

I have another question about all of this. If the chosen speaker had been  Colin Powell, would the opposition have been as formidable?  Or would the boys club in the faculty lounge just have given him the pass?

Danke shön!  Thank you, Rutgers,  for shedding light on the state of faculty mentality.

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I guess this comes under the heading: Sh*t happens. Obama’s campaign sent this to the blogger known as “Still4Hill.” How presumptive can they be?

2012
Friend —

I’m James Kvaal, the new policy director for President Obama’s 2012 campaign. You’ll be hearing from me occasionally about the President’s policies and those of our opponents, and how we can all help bring about change for our country.Yesterday, we accomplished one major change when President Obama announced that all American troops in Iraq will be home before the holidays.With that action, the Iraq war will end. And one of the President’s central promises will have been kept.Both as Americans and as supporters of President Obama, this is something for us to reflect on, and be proud of.

Watch the video of the President’s announcement — then please pass this on:

The war in Iraq was a divisive, defining issue in our country for nearly nine years, and was the catalyst for many Americans to get involved in politics for the first time.

Now, thanks to the actions of this President, we can say that conflict is coming to a close.

The end of this war reflects a larger transition in our foreign policy as, in the President’s words, “the tide of war is receding.” The drawdown in Iraq has allowed us to refocus on the fight against al Qaeda, even as we begin to bring troops home from Afghanistan. And of course, this week also marked the definitive end of the Qaddafi regime in Libya.

These outcomes are an example of what happens when a leader sets a plan and sees it through. In the last campaign, the President committed to getting American troops home while leaving behind a stable and secure Iraq. You rallied around that vision, and now that promise has been fulfilled.

On behalf of this campaign and supporters of the President across the country, I want to thank the more than 1 million Americans who have served in Iraq, and all those who worked to make this possible.

Thanks,

James

James Kvaal
Policy Director
Obama for America

Paid for by Obama for America

Here is my reply.

James –

I am a blogger associated with Team Hillary Clinton. My first question is why you would send a Barack Obama campaign email to somebody named “Still4Hill.” It seems that ought to imply who my 2012 candidate is. Were that not the case I might have changed my name to “Was4Hill” or something like that. But this is beside the point.

Seriously, James. The war is over? But not quite yet, not until December 31. The transparency promised by the Obama team in 2008 has been as clear as mud until recently. “Ending” the war in Iraq is as obviously political as are all the public appearances exhorting the public to contact representatives to tell them to support the jobs bills. There is one job that is meant to protect and preserve – Mr. Obama’s.

What strategic or tactical event precipitates this mighty finish to our long slog through Iraq? Nothing! Most tellingly, it is evidently not that “over” since the official end does not take place until the end of the year. This is misleading, purely political nonsense. It obscures the truth: that the American presence remains at great expense to Americans. This is a chess move.

Declaring the war over, Obama shifted operations in Iraq from the Pentagon to the poorly funded State Department. Protection of civilian State Department and USAID staff now falls to extremely expensive and poorly regulated contractors. If this declaration of peace were anything other than political, a wise president would have made sure that the State Department had a fully funded and trained civil security arm. There is such a body, but it is miniscule in contrast to the numbers of troops being pulled out. A responsible president would have bulked it up first, before declaring “peace.”

Now it is up to our diligent and assiduous Secretary of State to manage an almost impossible post-war program for which Congress is certain to cut rather than improve funding. Nice move.

Obama is the most disastrous president I have witnessed in my life. Worse than Nixon. This move by him is real clear politics. It reminds me of this and is about as true.

Good luck in your new position,

Still4Hill

Team Hillary Clinton

HillaryHood

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…and Hillary had nothing to do with any of this, I found these entries in sequence under JFK in Wikipedia:

Ireland

Further information: The Ireland Funds

President Kennedy in motorcade in the Republic of Ireland on June 27, 1963

On the occasion of his visit to the Republic of Ireland in 1963, President Kennedy joined with Irish President Éamon de Valera to form The American Irish Foundation. The mission of this organization was to foster connections between Americans of Irish descent and the country of their ancestry. Kennedy furthered these connections of cultural solidarity by accepting a grant of armorial bearings from the Chief Herald of Ireland. Kennedy had near-legendary status in Ireland, due to his ancestral ties to the country. Irish citizens who were alive in 1963 often have very strong memories of Kennedy’s momentous visit.[41] He also visited the original cottage at Dunganstown, near New Ross, where previous Kennedys had lived before emigrating to America, and said: “This is where it all began …” On December 22, 2006, the Irish Department of Justice released declassified police documents that indicated that Kennedy was the subject of three death threats during this visit. Though these threats were determined to be hoaxes, security was heightened.[42]

Iraq

In 1963, the Kennedy administration backed a coup against the government of Iraq headed by General Abdel Karim Kassem, who five years earlier had deposed the Western-allied Iraqi monarchy. The CIA helped the new Ba’ath Party government led by Abdul Salam Arif in ridding the country of suspected leftists and Communists. In a Baathist bloodbath, the government used lists of suspected Communists and other leftists provided by the CIA, to systematically murder untold numbers of Iraq’s educated elite—killings in which Saddam Hussein himself is said to have participated. The victims included hundreds of doctors, teachers, technicians, lawyers, and other professionals as well as military and political figures.[43][44][45] According to an op-ed in the New York Times, the U.S. sent arms to the new regime, weapons later used against the same Kurdish insurgents the U.S. supported against Kassem and then abandoned him. American and UK oil and other interests, including Mobil, Bechtel, and British Petroleum, were conducting business in Iraq.[43]

So, number one, lets get this out of the way right now, I descend from (among other nationalities) Northern Irish – one side Catholic and one side Protestant. They married, they got along, case closed except for the fact that my dad and his sibs always went to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC and ALWAYS cheered for the signs “England Get Out Of Ireland” (even though we’re about equally English).   I always felt that gave me the right to side with the Provos way back. And, no, terrorism is not “right,” but in my grandfather’s Hungary, people acting similarly were called “Freedom Fighters.”

My Hillary is going to my beloved Ireland to try to do some healing. God bless her. We needed an end to the fighting. But my relatives, still there, need their equal rights. We may never be “A Nation Once Again,” but I pray for peace there – for my family and for everyone.  (How odd – I left it unedited.  I said “we”).

Last note on this, I just had no memory whatsoever that Eamon de Valera was still alive in my lifetime. DUH!

The entry on Iraq is interesting in that most people think that the only “regime” in Iraq from the early 1950s through the coup that routed Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979 was that of the Shah.  Apparently not.  Note the implication of Saddam Hussein.  This was all Cold War stuff to be sure.   We were heavily involved all along the path.

I add all of this in response to my Sinhalese readers.  You see,  my folks are “northerners” too.  They would like to be part of the free independent Irish State, but they are not.  So if you think I bear a certain sympathy with the Tamil, I do.

That was not really the point of my previous post.  And I interject Iraq here only because it came up alphabetically and is yet another example of ethinc or religious differences causing civil division.  I post it to demonstrate that I truly am thinking about what you said, David UK.

But I still do not see where you have extended a hand to the Tamil.  Everything I have read from you simply condemns them.

I am sure there are crimes on both sides – sure!  Certain!  It’s always true.  But while you ask me “Where’s the beef?”  I ask you,  if prior to 2006 there were claims, where’s the refutation?

As I have said, Hillary Clinton did not pull the names of countries out of a hat,  There was a basis for what she said.  If you can see where I am coming from,  there is room for talk.  If you are going to deal in inattributed absolutes like “Never.”  Well then you show me the beef.

And I should NEVER get in the middle of a civil dispute again!  Really!   But I might.

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