Monday Open Thread [2.4.13]

Filed in National, Open Thread by on February 4, 2013

L A P S E S from Diego Arambillet on Vimeo.

Michael R. Gordon and Mark Landler of the New York Times broke the story on Saturday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had convinced then CIA director David Petraeus to intervene in Syria by arming, training and supporting Western-friendly rebels in Syria. But when they went to the President and the other members of the National Security Council, the plan was scuttled. Obama rightly was concerned that the plan wouls spin out of control and lead to our invading and occupying Syria.

Juan Cole says this points to a “concrete difference between what an Obama presidency looks like and what a Hillary Clinton presidency would have looked like.”

Obama doesn’t like interventions of choice on the ground, and wants the US out of its Middle Eastern land wars. He was happy enough to get out of Iraq altogether. He will be wholly or for the most part out of Afghanistan in a couple of years. His intervention in Libya was forced on him by UK PM David Cameron and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy [not to mention Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice], and it remained a purely from-the-air affair, with no US military engagement in the country after the fall of dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Obama’s main form of foreign policy interventionism is a) sanctions (e.g. Iran) and b) drones, as in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. These two techniques may appeal to ground-war-averse Obama as a way of avoiding sending in the infantry, though I suspect Washington underestimates the danger that these two tactics can themselves spiral out of control and lead to military engagement.

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  1. cassandra_m says:

    Did we talk about this already? There is a *conservative* version of Facebook, called the Tea Party Community — further hardening their online bunker, I guess to preserve their bigotry and their own facts.

  2. jason330 says:

    If only Mike Castle was still in Congress, we could follow socialist Canada into the bright penny-less world of the future.

  3. jim center says:

    Maybe this could get morphed into a thread of its own?

    America, the greatest country?
    It’s amazing that only comics and actors can accurately describe our country without fear!
    A scene from the Upcoming HBO series, Newsroom:

  4. Geezer says:

    A critique of Bishop Malooly’s letter on proper married use of man- and lady-parts to create more vict… er, children has hit the Daily Kos front page.

  5. Jason330 says:

    Geezer, thanks for the head’s up. The letter deserves it’s own post here because it is exactly the kind of gibberish that puts Malooly on the fast track for a more senior post in the Church. In the meantime I’ll just say that this…

    At the very least every human culture recognizes that the sexual instincts and sexual appetites of human beings need to be channeled and that children who result from sexual relationships between men and women need to be cared for and nurtured.

    You know a terrific way to care for and nurture children? Not raping them.

    …is pretty spot on.

    Also, considering the deviant “lifestyle choices” available to modern Americans, in some ways it is tough to beat “becoming a Catholic priest” as perhaps the most suspect of lifestyle choices.

  6. cassandra_m says:

    The Alabama hostage situation is over — the kidnapper is dead, and the child is alive.

  7. puck says:

    The authorities won’t talk about how they knew the man was holding a gun – I’m thinking they were probably using some kind of imaging device. Also, they seem to have got in pretty quick so I’m not sure it really could have been described as a “bunker.”