Daily Archives: March 9, 2014

Sarah Palin, Wall Street Journal rewrite history of Russia-Georgia war 1

The Daily Kos has the story from 2014/03/01, Sarah Palin, Wall Street Journal rewrite history of Russia-Georgia war.

After 9/11, however, President Bush changed the policy toward Georgia, introducing two elements that developed into serious strategic disadvantages. Mr. Bush not only made Georgia into a partner in the “war on terror,” but he promoted Mr. Saakashvili and Georgia into a centerpiece of his “promotion of democracy.” In Tbilisi in 2005, Mr. Bush proclaimed Mr. Saakashvili’s Georgia “a beacon of liberty.”

Even as President Bush became increasingly aware that he needed the Kremlin’s help in Iran and for other American interests, he was kept a prisoner by this exaggeration of Georgia’s importance for U.S. foreign policy.

Senior officials of the Bush administration claim they warned Mr. Saakashvili against using force against Russia. But having invested so much ideological importance in the Georgian president, Mr. Bush couldn’t warn him publicly — or, as it turned out, stop him. Having become so dependent on Mr. Saakashvili’s success, the United States lost the political influence to stop him.

As Wikileaks revealed in December 2010, the U.S. position was made worse by the fact that the Bush administration–and its allies like John McCain–gullibly believed everything Saakashvili told them. The leaked cables from Tblisi, the New York Times explained, “display some of the perils of a close relationship”:

A 2008 batch of American cables from another country once in the cold war’s grip — Georgia — showed a much different sort of access. In Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, American officials had all but constant contact and an open door to President Mikheil Saakashvili and his young and militarily inexperienced advisers, who hoped the United States would help Georgia shake off its Soviet past and stand up to Russia’s regional influence…

The cables show that for several years, as Georgia entered an escalating contest with the Kremlin for the future of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two breakaway enclaves out of Georgian control that received Russian support, Washington relied heavily on the Saakashvili government’s accounts of its own behavior. In neighboring countries, American diplomats often maintained their professional distance, and privately detailed their misgivings of their host governments. In Georgia, diplomats appeared to set aside skepticism and embrace Georgian versions of important and disputed events.

By 2008, as the region slipped toward war, sources outside the Georgian government were played down or not included in important cables. Official Georgian versions of events were passed to Washington largely unchallenged.

The last cables before the eruption of the brief Russian-Georgian war showed an embassy relaying statements that would with time be proved wrong.

Proved wrong, that is, just like John McCain and Sarah Palin.

The connection between the incident in Georgia and the Ukraine seems to be the common thread of former member countries of the USSR trying to entice the USA into supporting them in their disagreements with Russia. Our problem seems to be our belief that we must solve all problems in the world, even ones that are so complicated it is hard to judge who is more right and who is more wrong. Of course, when oil and US political ideology get mixed in, it is hard to figure out what our own motives are.

When we get involved, we seem to encourage foolish actions on the part of our allies that they would not have the courage to undertake if we weren’t there.

Richard D. Wolff | Obama’s Economic Significance

Truth Out has the article Richard D. Wolff | Obama’s Economic Significance.

President Obama’s proven reliability as outsider president extraordinaire – putting a disarming smiley face on capitalism’s depredations – is his administration’s economic significance.

It is time to face facts.  The other sad fact to face is that Hillary Clinton’s political philosophy is to the right of Obama’s.

So many people ask, what might a more palatable candidate look like?  TINA – there is no  alternative, they say.  So stop laughing when I feature posts like Bernie Sanders: “I Am Prepared To Run for President of the United States”.  As the Occupy Wall Street movement used to shout, “This is what democracy looks like.”  It does not look like Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton’s political ideas.

Peterson Thinks We Need Austerity While He Lives It Up!

New Economic Perspectives has the article Peterson Thinks We Need Austerity While He Lives It Up!

In case you didn’t know, Pete Peterson has spent gobs of money on his private think tank which has been trying to confuse the public about money and economics for decades.  One thing they produce is commentaries like the one that this article rails against.

Here are some excerpts from the New Economic Perspectives article by Joe Firestone.

Here are quotations from the report and my explanations of why they are ridiculous deficit/debt terrorist nonsense.

While today’s deficits are much lower than those during the financial crisis and recession, over the next ten years debt will remain at historically high levels under the policies outlined in the President’s budget. Over the long term, our debt is on a rising and unsustainable path that harms our economy and threatens our future standard of living.

First, Government deficits that don’t exceed the sum of private sector savings and trade deficits are not bad for the private economy. They are good because they contribute directly to private sector savings and the aggregate demand and subsequent economic growth it can create. It would be nicer for all of us if Mr. Peterson learned that lesson before his propaganda turn the US into a third world banana republic; unless, of course, that’s what he’s about.

As a share of the economy, our national debt is already higher than at any time since 1950, shortly after the end of World War II. This level of debt leaves our nation poorly prepared to enter an era in which demographic changes pose enormous budgetary challenges for the federal government. The Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s Fiscal Confidence Index recently found that a significant majority of voters — 83 percent — agree that policymakers should spend more time addressing the nation’s debt.

Again, the level of debt and/or the level of the debt to GDP ratio have no effect on our Government’s capability to deficit spend. The Government can afford to do whatever it needs to accommodate demographic changes just as it could afford whatever needed to be done during World War II and after 1950.

I commented on the New Economic Perspectives article as shown below.

You forget to mention that if the debt was so high in 1950, how did it get reduced and yet we had a growing economy, we were bailing out Europe and Japan at the same time, building the interstate highway system, sending people to the moon, fighting a war in Viet Nam, developing Nuclear bombs and ICBMs, supporting higher education and schools, adding Medicare and Medicaid, and reducing the level of poverty.

Shouldn’t Peterson be studying all those things we accomplished with a smaller economy than we have today? If we did it once before, why can’t we do it again?

The article does mention that we did a lot of things during the 1950s, but it does not emphasize the fact that there is a logical paradox when Peterson’s own commentary said “our national debt is already higher than at any time since 1950, shortly after the end of World War II.”  This implies that our debt must have been reduced after 1950 if it is only now getting back to those levels.  Why doesn’t anyone ask Peterson to explain that?