Wednesday, November 28, 2012

John McCain is an Angry Guy

The Angry John McCain Song

Susan Rice 'This Week' Interview: U.S. Ambassador to UN Discusses Muslim Protest (09/2012)

McCain: 'Will Do Everything in My Power' to Block Susan Rice

Ambassador Rice Defends Benghazi Remarks

“There would seem to be little connection between Nate Silver and Susan Rice, but hear me out. The New York Times electoral savant was said to be "controversial." No one adduced a lick of factual evidence for why he should have been thought to be so, but people on the right just didn't like his electoral predictions, so they tried to make him controversial. With respect to Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, much the same is true. In reality land, she's done nothing that ought to be considered all that controversial. But again, conservatives don't like the outcome-Democrats having the upper hand on foreign policy and national security-so they're trying to make her controversial.” -Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast, Nov 22, 2012

   Okay, I think I've recovered sufficiently from the jet lag I incurred from my trip back from Arizona on Amtrak, so let's get to work... again.
   I'm surprised this is still a major story in the media (despite the constant hyping from Fox so-called News: (  ). It must be a slow news fortnight.    
   Most likely as a result of the “Arab Spring,” revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt in 2011, Libya experienced a full-scale revolt beginning on February 17th. Muammar Gaddafi, the strongman leader of Libya since 1969, instead of capitulating and fleeing the country like his Tunisian and Egyptian counterparts, fought back, using his extensive military and security forces, foreign mercenaries, all of which allegedly killed rebelling civilians (In June 2011, an investigation carried out by Amnesty International found that many of the allegations against Gaddafi and the Libyan state turned out to either be false or lack any credible evidence, noting that rebels appeared to have knowingly made false claims or manufactured evidence). In March the UN declared a no fly zone to protect the civilian population of Libya. On March 19th, a multi-state coalition began a military intervention in Libya, and military operations began, with US and British naval forces firing over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles, the French Air Force, British Royal Air Force, and Canadian Royal Canadian Air Force undertaking missions across Libya and a naval blockade by Coalition forces. On March 24th, NATO agreed to take control of the no-fly zone, while command of targeting ground units remained with coalition forces. NATO flew 26,500 sorties since it took charge of the Libya mission on the 31st of March.
    Eventually Gaddafi was forced into hiding, and on September 16th, the National Transitional Council was recognized by the United Nations as the legal representative of Libya, replacing the Gaddafi government.
   On October 20th, Muammar Gaddafi was found in a culvert west of the city of Sirte and captured by National Transitional Council forces, and subsequently beaten to death by those forces.
   Former Minister of Justice under Gaddafi, Mustafa Abdul Jalil led the National Transitional Council, and served as the NTC's de facto head of government from March 5th, 2011 through the end of the civil war.
   Fighting in Libya ended in late October following the death of Muammar Gaddafi. On October 27th, my birthday, NATO’s Security Council voted to end NATO's mandate for military action on October 31st.
   So, one can easily make the claim that the United States was instrumental in Libya’s liberation, and accordingly, the Libyan people should look kindly on our country.
   Last September 11th, a Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, demonstrations raged throughout the Muslim world. A 14-minute trailer for a supposed full-length anti-Islam feature called “The Innocence of Muslims,” was broadcast on Al-Nas TV, an Egyptian Islamist television station two days previously, and in what appears to be the customary reaction to criticisms of their religion (remember the fatwā (the limited use of this term being that a death sentence has been dealt to someone or some group of people) on Salman Rushdie issued by Ayatollah  Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran in 1989, after the "The Satanic Verses," was published?) mass demonstrations erupted in Egypt, Yemen, Greece, Sudan, Tunisia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, in Africa, the western hemisphere, Asia, Europe, and everywhere else.
    In Cairo, Egypt the U.S. diplomatic mission  was overrun by protestors. A group scaled the embassy wall and tore down the American flag to replace it with a black Islamic flag.
   On September 11th, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was in the city of Bengazi (the main American consulate in Libya is located in Tripoli), where there were no demonstrations. After nightfall, 120 to 150 heavily armed attackers killed the Ambassador and three other Americans, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and U.S. embassy security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. Two other Americans and seven Libyans were injured.
   Some U.S. officials, speaking under anonymity, said that they believed the Benghazi attack was coordinated and planned in advance, and not prompted by the film. Considering the weapons  used during the attack included rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, AK-47 and FN F2000 NATO assault rifles, diesel canisters, mortars, and heavy machine guns and artillery mounted on gun trucks, items not usually brought to spontaneous demonstrations, that conclusion would be a pretty safe bet.
  The terrorist group (to the American point of view at least) Al-Qaeda indicated responsibility for the attack and said it was in revenge for a U.S. drone strike which killed Libyan Abu Yahya al-Libi, one of their leaders.
   The attack was strongly condemned by the governments of Libya, the United States, and other countries around the world.
   The next day, September 12th, President Obama stood with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the White House Rose Garden, and said, "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for."
   Despite this statement from the President, five days later, on September 16th, a Sunday, UN Ambassador Susan Rice made visits to all of the Sunday morning talk shows and said what she was told to say given the talking points the CIA had provided to her (considering the UN Ambassador has no jurisdiction over foreign embassy personnel or security, why didn't Sec State Clinton make the talk show rounds? Apparently because she didn't want to) which did not brand the attack in Benghazi as caused by terrorists, but rather like the demonstrations that day in Egypt, a reaction to the “The Innocence of Muslims,” video.
   "As a senior U.S. diplomat, I agreed to a White House request to appear on the Sunday shows to talk about the full range of national security issues of the day, which at that time were primarily and particularly the protests that were enveloping and threatening many diplomatic facilities, American diplomatic facilities around the world, and Iran's nuclear program."
   "The attack on our facilities in Benghazi was obviously a significant piece of this," Rice said.
   As it happens Susan Rice is being considered to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State once she quits her job at the end of Obama's first term in office.
   Also, the attack in Benghazi and the administration's reaction to it as voiced by Ambassador Rice was before the general election on November 6th.
   This gave the Republicans, and Fox so-called News, plenty to bitch about.
   Fox immediately claimed the Obama administration was involved in a cover up of some kind (in retrospect, I don't know what kind of cover up they were claiming, or the purpose thereof. No one was disputing that the attack caused the deaths of four Americans, including our  Ambassador in Libya, so what exactly was being covered up? Still, Fox proclaimed the "controversy" surrounding the attack as "being worse than Watergate.").
   House Republicans just couldn't understand how the State Department and Obama let this happen by not providing for sufficient security in a country that had not stabilized after its revolution. Why were Marines not stationed there they asked. They got really indignant!
   And they also forgot to mention that for the past two years, House Republicans had deprioritized the security forces protecting State Department personnel throughout the world. In 2011, the Republican House shaved $128 million off of the administration's request for embassy security funding. They cut off even more money in 2012 -- cutting back on the department's request by $331 million.
   Alright, the attack in Bengazi was tragic, and it seems to have been a coordinated. Al-Qaeda may have been involved, although that is not for certain. No witnesses saw any attackers wearing "Al-Qaeda" T shirts. Investigations are continuing and ongoing, by Congress, and the CIA and FBI. We may eventually find out exactly who was responsible for the attack, and they may eventually be brought to justice. Let's hope so.
   Now, as to the title of this post, Arizona Senator John Sidney McCain III is an angry guy. There's even a song about that which proves so (above).    
   John McCain lost the Republican primary to George W. Bush in 2000. This pissed him off. He lost a presidential bid to Barack Obama in 2008. That really pissed him off.
   He has said absolutely nothing nice at all about President Obama and his policies since the President has been in office.
   He's complained about the end of the Iraq War. He's complained about winding down the war in Afghanistan .
   He's complained about Obama's foreign policy in general, saying it has been the worst in recorded history (I guess starting two unfunded and unnecessary wars as George Bush did is good foreign policy).
   Now he's been at the forefront of bashing poor Ambassador Rice, saying she is "not qualified for the job," and calling her "not very bright."
   What job? Why Secretary of State, if President Obama were to nominate her. Remember, he may not nominate her, so all of this brouhaha regarding Ambassador Rice may be for nothing. 
   Why does McCain (and his butt buddy Lindsey Graham, and others (all Republicans of course)) believe Rice is not qualified, and not very bright (Susan Rice attended Stanford University, where she received a Truman Scholarship, and graduated with a B.A. in history in 1986. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. She attended New College, Oxford, where she earned a M.Phil. in 1988 and D.Phil. in 1990. The Chatham House-British International Studies Association honored her dissertation titled "Commonwealth Initiative in Zimbabwe, 1979-1980: Implication for International Peacekeeping" as the UK's most distinguished in international relations. John McCain... well he ranked 894th out of a class of 899 at the  United States Naval Academy)?
   Because she said this: "Well, first of all, Chris (she was talking to Chris), we are obviously investigating this very closely. The FBI has a lead in this investigation. The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack… Obviously, we will wait for the results of the investigation and we don’t want to jump to conclusions before then. But I do think it’s important for the American people to know our best current assessment."
   Because she repeated the talking points given to her by the CIA on those Sunday talk shows. That's it! Never mind that she also repeated that she was giving the most up to date information available, and that this could be subject to change as the matter was further investigated. Never mind that the UN Ambassador has absolutely nothing to do with U.S embassies, or their security. No they say. She purposely mislead the country for some reason and must be punished.
   President Obama has stood up for Ambassador Rice on numerous occasions, stating McCain and all of the others should come after him rather than Rice, and indeed that would be more appropriate, considering he's Hillary Clinton's boss, but no, the Republicans still go after Rice. What are they doing to her exactly? They say they will do everything in their power to block her from becoming the next Secretary of State (remember, she hasn't been nominated).
   McCain was asked by CBS host Bob Schieffer if he was willing to reconsider Rice if she were nominated.
   “I think we give all nominees the benefit of a hearing process,” McCain replied. “Maybe she could start out by publicly coming back on this show and saying, ‘I was wrong. I gave the wrong information on your show some weeks ago.’ That might be a beginning.”
   “But until then, you remain opposed to her nomination?” Schieffer pressed.
   “Under the present circumstances until we find out all the information as to what happened, I don’t think you could want to support any nominee right now,” McCain replied. “It really goes to heart of this — quote — light-footprint policy that this administration has been perusing and all of the failures throughout the Middle East.”
   “The chickens are now coming home to roost.”
   The chickens are now coming home to roost?! WTF does that mean? Please tell me. I really want to know.
   And this coming from a man who introduced Sarah Palin to the world and who would have placed her within a heartbeat from the Presidency. This from a man who voted for two unnecessary wars which caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands, not just four. This coming from a man who neglected to investigate what the Bush Administration knew about a possible attack by Al_Qaeda before September 11th, 2001. This coming from a man who said this: "We can disagree on policy and we disagree on a lot of things, but I think it is very clear that Condoleezza Rice is a person of integrity. And yes, I see this, some lingering bitterness over a very tough campaign." Condi Rice, a war criminal. A lady who lied about weapons of mass destruction, who lied  about Iraq accumulating high-strength aluminum tubes, and  the tubes "are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs," who lied about mushroom clouds, and who lied is into war.
   According to the progressive media no one can make sense of the Republican's argument concerning Ambassador Rice. That makes sense as the Republican argument against Ambassador Rice doesn't make any sense. Not in the world of reality at least. It does in the bubble of Republican Land apparently.
   I have to agree with Michael Tomasky's November 12th assertion in the The Daily Beast, that:
   "John McCain, I'd bet, knows all the above and isn't even really mad at her. He's mad at two other things. Well, three other things. First, he's mad he's not the president, and the president's the president. Second, he, and many Republicans, are pissed off that Obama paid no electoral price for the Benghazi attack. This is all but inconceivable to them because in the ecosystem in which they thrive, Benghazi is bigger than Watergate, Waterloo, and waterboarding combined. They can't understand or accept that many middle Americans don't share their outrage.
   But most middle Americans recognize Benghazi for what it was-a terribly sad tragedy, but the kind of thing that, in a dangerous world, happens. And yes, many middle Americans would consider it a smudge on the administration's security record, but most middle Americans also know that record is otherwise rather impressive. It seems to me someone just ran for president trying to argue otherwise, and he lost pretty handily.
   And finally and maybe most of all, McCain and others are furious that the Republicans have lost their "natural" advantage on national-security issues. They are desperate to change that, and the quickest way to start doing so is to get Rice's scalp."
   I also believe the Republicans are trying to define the debate, as they always try to do, and I think the media is allowing them to continue doing this by their constant coverage of this nonsensical... I don't even know what to call it, this fake outrage, this ploy, this BS.
   Ambassador Rice consented to meet with McCain, and Lindsey Graham. She said she respects Sen. McCain, who has been critical of her, but says "some of the statements he's made about me have been unfounded, but I look forward to having the opportunity at the appropriate time to discuss all of this with him."
   And by golly, afterwards Republicans said stuff like this:
   "I continue to be troubled by the fact that the U.N. ambassador decided to play what was essentially a political role at the height of a contentious presidential election campaign by agreeing to go on the Sunday shows to present the administration's position," Sen Susan Collins of Maine said after her meeting with Rice. "I would need to have additional information before I could support her nomination."
   Graham: “I’m more disturbed now than I was before that the sixteen September explanation about how four Americans died in Benghazi, Libya by Ambassador Rice, I think, does not do justice to the reality at the time and in hindsight clearly was completely wrong,” Graham explained. “But here’s the key, in real time, it was a statement disconnected from reality. If anybody had been looking at the threats coming out of Benghazi, Libya it was jump-out-at-you that this was an Al-Qaeda storm in the making.”
   Really? It was that obvious huh?
   McCain said he had about 50 more questions that needed to be answered.
   And again I say WTF!? They were with her for the very purpose of having questions answered. Why didn't they ask all of these so-called important questions? Please tell me. I really want to know.
   As Rachel Maddow said tonight, "this is getting, excuse the language, stupider and stupider, to the point that it's turning into a special kind of stupid."
   The lovely Rachel Maddow and I think there may be another explanation for all of this Republican madness. It seems Senator John Kerry is also a leading contender for the job of Sec State (as well as Sec Defense, if Leon Panetta decides to step down). If he were nominated for either of those jobs, and confirmed by the senate, then he wouldn't be a senator in Massachusetts any more, leaving a seat open, which may go to a Republican... like Scott Brown, who narrowly  (comparatively) lost his reelection bid a few weeks ago to Elizabeth Warren.
   Could this be?
   "I think John Kerry would be an excellent appointment and would be easily confirmed by his colleagues," Senator Collins said.
   Huuum, we shall see.

No comments:

Post a Comment