Monday Miscellany

1. So far, a viral campaign has so far collected 3,000 condolence letters from Muslims to the family of slain Ambassador Chris Stevens. That’s not to mention other forms of apology and grief expressed by the people of Libya who remain grateful to the United States for helping it to overthrow 40 years of dictatorship by a homicidal psychopath. 

Next time you hear some conservative mock Islam for not being “religion of peace-y” enough, or for pining for the good old days when Reagan had to drop bombs on Libya, point this out. 

2. Famed prude and anti-sex legislation enthusiast Rick Santorum gave an accurate speech to a crowd of like-minded vicious homophobes. 

3. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thinks he can berate the United States into doing his bidding. He’s been taking actions and saying words in the last few weeks in an effort to either influence our election here in favor of Romney, or to embarrass the current administration into supporting a strike against Iran. Evidently, having a military presence in Afghanistan isn’t difficult and costly enough, we’re also meant to support an invasion of a functioning, reasonably advanced nation-state. People criticize Obama for letting relations with Israel deteriorate, but that street runs two ways. It’s so bad that the leader of the Israeli opposition openly asked whether Netanyahu really wants regime change in Tehran or Washington

All of this is complicated by the fact that the Republican Party’s evangelist base is willing to do whatever Israel wants because Israel is proof to them of the imminent rapture, or something. I think it’s fantastic that wars, and our contemporary foreign policy are in part dictated by competing 2,000 year-old fairy tales. 

You should read this piece in Foreign Policy, wherein Bill Clinton explains how exactly Netanyahu completely obliterated – single-handedly – any chance for peace in the Middle East in the near future. 

“The Israelis always wanted two things that once it turned out they had, it didn’t seem so appealing to Mr. Netanyahu. They wanted to believe they had a partner for peace in a Palestinian government, and there’s no question — and the Netanyahu government has said — that this is the finest Palestinian government they’ve ever had in the West Bank,” Clinton said.

“[Palestinian leaders] have explicitly said on more than one occasion that if [Netanyahu] put up the deal that was offered to them before — my deal — that they would take it,” Clinton said, referring to the 2000 Camp David deal that Yasser Arafat rejected.

But the Israeli government has drifted a long way from the Ehud Barak-led government that came so close to peace in 2000, Clinton said, and any new negotiations with the Netanyahu government are now on starkly different terms — terms that the Palestinians are unlikely to accept.

“For reasons that even after all these years I still don’t know for sure, Arafat turned down the deal I put together that Barak accepted,” he said. “But they also had an Israeli government that was willing to give them East Jerusalem as the capital of the new state of Palestine.”

Israel also wants a normalization of relations with its Arab neighbors to accompany a peace deal. Clinton said that the Saudi-inspired Arab Peace Initiative put forth in 2002 represented an answer to that Israeli demand.

“The King of Saudi Arabia started lining up all the Arab countries to say to the Israelis, ‘if you work it out with the Palestinians … we will give you immediately not only recognition but a political, economic, and security partnership,'” Clinton said. “This is huge…. It’s a heck of a deal.”

The Netanyahu government has received all of the assurances previous Israeli governments said they wanted but now won’t accept those terms to make peace, Clinton said.

“Now that they have those things, they don’t seem so important to this current Israeli government, partly because it’s a different country,” said Clinton. “In the interim, you’ve had all these immigrants coming in from the former Soviet Union, and they have no history in Israel proper, so the traditional claims of the Palestinians have less weight with them.”

Clinton then repeated his assertions made at last year’s conference that Israeli society can be divided into demographic groups that have various levels of enthusiasm for making peace.

“The most pro-peace Israelis are the Arabs; second the Sabras, the Jewish Israelis that were born there; third, the Ashkenazi of long-standing, the European Jews who came there around the time of Israel’s founding,” Clinton said. “The most anti-peace are the ultra-religious, who believe they’re supposed to keep Judea and Samaria, and the settler groups, and what you might call the territorialists, the people who just showed up lately and they’re not encumbered by the historical record.”

Netanyahu appeared on Meet the Press yesterday, but I haven’t watched that show since it’s been watered down into an unrecognizable piece of dreck by David Gregory. Gregory apparently referred to Netanyahu as “leader of the Jews”, which is as stupid as it is factually inaccurate. 

4. Someone ask Ralph Lorigo how his early support of Chuck Swanick has helped (a) Lorigo; (b) Swanick; (c) the anti-same-sex marriage cause. 

Distillation

This summarizes just how awesome of a trainwreck the GOP primary season of 2012 has been.

Man under pressure to leave Presidential race pressures man to leave Presidential race.

Fear & Propaganda

Lost amid the sound and fury of the race for the Republican nomination is how candidates Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, and even former candidates like Cain, are really focusing on issues and not engaging in race-baiting or hyperbole. 

Nah, I’m just kidding. The issues are secondary. This is all about how Obama has destroyed / is about to destroy America, grandma, apple pie, and Chevrolet. Why, yesterday Obama got caught on a hot mic telling Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev the truth – that missile shield talks need to wait until after the election, at which time Obama will have “more flexibility”. 

Given that Mitt Romney went on record yesterday all but demanding war against Russia, Obama’s position is a bit more sane. 

So, here are some pretty awesome advertisements that Santorum and Cain’s PAC have put out in recent days. I’d call these “blatantly false propagandistic fearmongering”, but Limbaugh and his clones tell me only Democrats do that. 

 This one is from Rick Santorum. It’s got everything – how Obama destroyed the economy while he was President in 2008, how Ahmadinejad is going to rocket-destroy America and, like, take it over – maybe with Obama’s help, because he’s a seekrit Kenyan Mooslim!

Herman Cain isn’t going to be outdone by the patent insanity of a Rick Santorum. So, he’ll start out by displaying his hatred for “stimulus” by having a little kid kill a goldfish: 

And, not content with sanctioning the killing of a 10-cent fish, Cain pays for some really poor CGI showing a guy shooting a bunny rabbit in mid-air. 

Because nothing says, “I disagree with Keynesian economic pump-priming” like blowing a rabbit into little bits!

Your 2012 GOP: Totally out to lunch!

Fear & Propaganda

Lost amid the sound and fury of the race for the Republican nomination is how candidates Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, and even former candidates like Cain, are really focusing on issues and not engaging in race-baiting or hyperbole. 

Nah, I’m just kidding. The issues are secondary. This is all about how Obama has destroyed / is about to destroy America, grandma, apple pie, and Chevrolet. Why, yesterday Obama got caught on a hot mic telling Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev the truth – that missile shield talks need to wait until after the election, at which time Obama will have “more flexibility”. 

Given that Mitt Romney went on record yesterday all but demanding war against Russia, Obama’s position is a bit more sane. 

So, here are some pretty awesome advertisements that Santorum and Cain’s PAC have put out in recent days. I’d call these “blatantly false propagandistic fearmongering”, but Limbaugh and his clones tell me only Democrats do that. 

 This one is from Rick Santorum. It’s got everything – how Obama destroyed the economy while he was President in 2008, how Ahmadinejad is going to rocket-destroy America and, like, take it over – maybe with Obama’s help, because he’s a seekrit Kenyan Mooslim!

Herman Cain isn’t going to be outdone by the patent insanity of a Rick Santorum. So, he’ll start out by displaying his hatred for “stimulus” by having a little kid kill a goldfish: 

And, not content with sanctioning the killing of a 10-cent fish, Cain pays for some really poor CGI showing a guy shooting a bunny rabbit in mid-air. 

Because nothing says, “I disagree with Keynesian economic pump-priming” like blowing a rabbit into little bits!

Your 2012 GOP: Totally out to lunch!