We are the 99%

July 17, 2008

Santorum Spins

Former Senator Rick Santorum is at it again.

This time Santorum is spinning about Current Senator Barack Obama.

Senator Man-on-Dog begins:

Over the past weeks much has been made of Barack Obama's hard right turn toward the center of the political spectrum. There's been no greater about-face than his embrace of the Bush Doctrine on the next likely foreign policy crisis - Iran.

The Bush Doctrine refers to the strategy of preemptive warfare that President Bush set forth in 2002. It's the idea that the United States will not wait for menacing enemies to attack us; we will attack preemptively in certain cases

And then quotes Obama to back up his assertion:
Last month, Obama declared, "I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon - everything."
And then connects the dots:

When a would-be commander in chief says "everything" three times in one sentence - and says so publicly - he is not just talking about continued diplomacy and sanctions. He's saying that he has not taken the military option off the table.

With that statement, Obama, the definitive antiwar candidate, ended any serious debate over preemption in the post-9/11 world.

And so if we were to take Lil Ricky seriously (and I mean really does ANYONE take Rick Santorum seriously these days? Apart from the wingnuts, I mean), could we actually conclude that Senator Obama has "embrac(ed) the Bush doctrine" of "preemptive warfare"?

Uh, no.

Let's take a look at what Obama actually said when he said what Rick quoted. It was June 4, 2008 and the Senator was speaking before American Israel Public Affairs Committee's Annual Policy Conference. Here's a fuller context. This transcript can be found at the New York Times:

Now, there's no greater threat to Israel or to the peace and stability of the region than Iran. This audience is made up of both Republicans and Democrats. And the enemies of Israel should have no doubt that, regardless of party, Americans stand shoulder-to-shoulder in our commitment to Israel's security.

So while I don't want to strike too partisan a note here today, I do want to address some willful mischaracterizations of my position.

The Iranian regime supports violent extremists and challenges us across the region. It pursues a nuclear capability that could spark a dangerous arms race and raise the prospect of a transfer of nuclear know-how to terrorists.

Its president denies the Holocaust and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat.

But just as we are clear-eyed about the threat, we must be clear about the failure of today's policy. We knew in 2002 that Iran supported terrorism. We knew Iran had an illicit nuclear program. We knew Iran proposed a great threat to Israel.

But instead of pursuing a strategy to address this threat, we ignored it and instead invaded and occupied Iraq.

When I opposed the war, I warned that it would fan the flames of extremism in the Middle East. That is precisely what happened in Iran. The hard-liners tightened their grip, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president in 2005. And the United States and Israel are less secure.

I respect Senator McCain, and I look forward to a substantive debate with him these next five months. But on this point, we have differed, and we will differ.

Senator McCain refuses to understand or acknowledge the failure of the policy he would continue. He criticizes my willingness to use strong diplomacy, but offers only an alternative reality, one where the war in Iraq has somehow put Iran on its heels.
The truth is the opposite: Iran has strengthened its position. Iran is now enriching uranium, and it has reportedly stockpiled 150 kilos of low-enriched uranium. Its support for terrorism and threats towards Israel have increased.

Those are the facts. And they cannot be denied. And I refuse to continue a policy that has made the United States and Israel less secure.

Now, Senator McCain and others offers a false choice: stay the course in Iraq or cede the region to Iran.

I reject this logic, because there is a better way. Keeping all of our troops tied down indefinitely in Iraq is not the way to weaken Iran; it is precisely what has strengthened it. It is a policy for staying, not a policy for victory.

I have proposed a responsible phased redeployment of our troops from Iraq. We will get out as carefully as we were careless getting in. We will finally pressure Iraq's leaders to take meaningful responsibility for their own future.

We will also use all elements of American power to pressure Iran. I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, everything.

That starts with aggressive, principled, tough diplomacy, without self-defeating preconditions, but with a clear-eyed understanding of our interests.

We have no time to waste. We cannot unconditionally rule out an approach that could prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

We have tried limited, piecemeal talks, while we outsourced the sustained work to our European allies. It has not worked. It is time for the United States to lead.

Now, there will be careful preparation. We will open up lines of communication, build an agenda, coordinate closely with our allies, especially Israel, and evaluate the potential for progress.

And contrary to the claims of some, I have no interest in sitting down with our adversaries just for the sake of talking. But as president of the United States, I would be willing to lead tough and principled diplomacy with the appropriate Iranian leaders at a time and place of my choosing, if and only if it can advance the interests of the United States.

That is my position. I want it to be absolutely clear.

Only recently have some come to think that diplomacy by definition cannot be tough. They forget the example of Truman, and Kennedy, and Reagan. These presidents understood that diplomacy, backed by real leverage, was a fundamental tool of statecraft.

And it is time to once again make American diplomacy a tool to succeed, not just a means of containing failure.

We will pursue this diplomacy with no illusions about the Iranian regime. Instead, we will present a clear choice: If you abandon your dangerous nuclear program, your support for terror, and your threats to Israel, there will be meaningful incentives, including the lifting of sanctions and political and economic integration with the international community. If you refuse, we will ratchet up the pressure.

My presidency will strengthen our hand as we restore our standing. Our willingness to pursue diplomacy will make it easier to mobilize others to join our cause.
If Iran fails to change course when presented with this choice by the United States, it will be clear to the people of Iran and to the world that the Iranian regime is the author of its own isolation. And that will strengthen our hand with Russia and China, as we insist on stronger sanctions in the Security Council.

And we should work with Europe, Japan, and the gulf states to find every avenue outside the United Nations to isolate the Iranian regime, from cutting off loan guarantees and expanding financial sanctions, to banning the export of refined petroleum to Iran, to boycotting firms associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, who Quds Forces have rightly been labeled a terrorist organization.

Anyone reading that and believing that it supports the Dubya Doctrine of preemptive warfare has to have his or her head examined. Please note that after the section Santorum quoted, Obama follows it immediately with:
That starts with aggressive, principled, tough diplomacy, without self-defeating preconditions, but with a clear-eyed understanding of our interests.
That in itself is a repudiation of the Bush doctrine of shoot now and lie about it later.

On Iran's nuclear capabilities, Rick's spinning there, too. He writes:
International Atomic Energy Administration director Mohamed ElBaradei said last month that if Iran expelled the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency, Iran would need six months to produce a nuclear weapon. Couple that with last week's test firing of missiles capable of delivering that weapon to Israel, and it is no wonder you have seen a rash of stories about the Israelis training for strikes against Iran.
But here's exactly what ElBaradei said:

Mohamed ElBaradei: "If Iran wants to turn to the production of nuclear weapons, it must leave the NPT, expel the IAEA inspectors, and then it would need at least... Considering the number of centrifuges and the quantity of uranium Iran has..."

Interviewer: "How much time would it need?"

ElBaradei: "It would need at least six months to one year. Therefore, Iran will not be able to reach the point where we would wake up one morning to an Iran with a nuclear weapon."

Interviewer: "Excuse me, I would like to clarify this for our viewers. If Iran decides today to expel the IAEA from the country, it will need six months..."

ElBaradei: "Or one year, at least..."

Interviewer:"... to produce [nuclear] weapons?"

ElBaradei: "It would need this period to produce a weapon, and to obtain highly-enriched uranium in sufficient quantities for a single nuclear weapon." [...]

So it's not just a matter of expelling the the UN, Iran would also have to leave the NPT and THEN it would take 6 months to a year to build the thing, including obtaining the uranium needed.

Something Lil Ricky left out.

Now on those missiles. I found this from fellow conservative Pat Buchanan. In a column calling this a "phony crisis" Pat points out something about the missiles Rick was warning us about:

One rocket appears twice in the same photo. The large missile, on inspection, was not the new Shahab-3b, which has a range of 1,200 miles, but a Shahab-3a, with a range of 900 miles. It is no longer in production.

The missiles fired with the Shahab-3a turned out to be Scuds, a short-range missile that is no threat to Israel.

Oh, and ElBaradei? He also said this in the same interview:

"In my view, a military strike would be the worst thing possible. It would turn the Middle East into a ball of fire."

Interviewer: "It would be worse than sanctions?"

ElBaradei: "Much worse, because a military strike would mean, first and foremost, that even if Iran does not produce nuclear weapons today, it would implement a so-called 'crash course,' or an accelerated plan to produce a nuclear weapon, with the agreement and blessing of all the Iranians - even the Iranians living in the West."

So a preemptive attack would only hasten an Iranian nuke.

Good thinking, Rick. Nice to see you're still on the ball.

18 comments:

Sherry said...

i'd chip in to make him go away. how much do you think it would be?

dguzman said...

Even Santorum's base, dimwitted christofascist hillbillies in PA, couldn't save him from defeat in 2006. Why does he even bother to keep trying? His time is OVER.

Anonymous said...

John K: Thanks dguzman for confirming how prejudiced the lefties in this blog are.

Fillippelli the Cook said...

hmmmm... and here I thought "dimwitted christofascist hillbillies" had a nice ring to it.

You should have just called them terrorist appeasers or say they wanted us to lose the wars in Iraq or hoped for more U.S. troops to die.

That is perfectly acceptable speech.

cathcatz said...

islamofascist = perfectly acceptable term referring to a very bad brown person who needs to die because he hates us for our freedom.

christofascist = very ignorant and insulting term about a god-fearing and good hearted person who believes that islamofascists need to die.

get it straight.

:P

Anonymous said...

John K: Of course it is acceptable speech. It is the same thing Obama said in San Fran and then immediately denied it. But if you left wing kooks actually stood by your statements then get a bill board and put it on there. Republicans did that. Olbermouth went nuts and doubled his meds afterwards but at least we stand by our statements. You left wing kooks deny it when Obama says it, than whisper it among yourselves like school kids. Good thing Imus did not say it.

Anonymous said...

John K: I still find it funny (LMAO) that you left wing kooks think the greatest threat to the world is a conservative with access to the podium or a pen and pencil. LMAO Thanks dguzman for supporting that.

cathcatz said...

and i still think it's funny that so many right-wing wackos fail to see just how disastrous this administration actually is.

roflmfao

Anonymous said...

John K: That was a dumb thing to say cathcatz. You clearly have enjoyed your Bush tax cut. You clearly enjoyed your stimulus check. And not least of which, you clearly enjoy the fact that the US has not been attacked since 9-11. Which is remarkable.
I would also remind you cathcatz that for the first 6 years of the Bush admin this country went thru a huge money making growth spurt. It is only since the Democrats took over (price of gas has doubled under Pelosi/Reid, houseing market downturned under Pelosi/Reid) that the country has experienced a down turn. Which is why what you said was dumb and without any thought at all.

Anonymous said...

John K: The lefty mantra, never let logic and analysis interfere with your left wing biases. That is the mantra for Olbermouth and for all his 400,000 listeners. LOL

cathcatz said...

i'm not rich john k, so i have NOT benefited one iota from these so-called tax cuts. I’m a single working mother. and my "stimulus check" went to pay bills that i accumulated due to rising costs of food and gasoline.

i would have enjoyed it more if we were never attacked in the first place, and had dumbya not ignored all of the warnings he received, we would not have been attacked on 9/11! And I certainly give no credit to this administration for protecting us from anything. I DO hold them accountable for the 4121 dead and 30,324 wounded us troops in Iraq, when they had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ATTACKS ON 9/11!

The entire bush administration has been a pander to corporate America. THEY have made money. We have not. the rich got richer, as they tend to under republican admins, and the working class lost out. We’ve faced lower wages and rising costs for EVERYTHING. That’s NOT just since the dems achieved a VERY small and wholly ineffective majority. It’s not veto-proof, it doesn’t matter.

You really want to blame the price of gas on Pelosi?? You are friggin delusional and completely uninformed. The price of OIL is set by OPEC. And look who belongs to opec, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, Qatar, indonesia, Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; United Arab Emirates; Algeria; Nigeria; Ecuador; Angola; and Gabon notice who’s missing from that list?? UNITED STATES. From there, its the corporations like bp exxon mobil, conoco phillips, and shell, who set the price of all petroleum based products to maintain their desired level of profit!

I stick by what I said, and look… I backed it up as well!!

EdHeath said...

Actually, I will disagree with you, Cathcatz, the price of oil appears to be set on an international market, by oil traders in New York, London and God knows where else. It is affected by US Government policy, since we are the biggest single consumers, but hardly set by us. If we announce we will suddenly start drilling in the OCS and the ANWR, the internatinal price will likely drop, although probably not by much, for example.
But the oil market is complicated. The price that is set by the various traders is based on the supply offered by the oil companies and the world's demand. But some oil companies like Exxon, Shell and BP own the oil pumps pulling the oil out of the ground, the refineries and either own or license the gas stations. So their actual price to get oil out of the ground may be a whole lot lower than the market price. Remember, they were operating (possibly at a small loss) when oil was ten dollars a barrel in the 80's and 90's.
The rich have gotten richer in the Bush administraton, but in fact the various percentile groups have all been pulling away from the bottom ten percent since the 1950's. Check out the Wikipedia page.

Am I being illogical, John K. How about that Senator Warner?

Anonymous said...

John K: There you go again cathcatz. The rich did not get as many tax breaks as the poor. Most tax breaks phase out at the $110,000 Adjusted Gross Income level. And individuals who made more than $75,000 did not get a stimulus check. So Cathcatz, wrong again. By the way, the earned income tax credit went up. And, get this, these tax breaks were so good, the Democrats extended them in 2006 and 2007 and Obama, yah your Hussein Obama, wants to give us another one. LMAO LMAO Cathcatz, prior to posting, go back to school and pay attention.
Or just admit you hate Bush but enjoyed spending other people's money. LOL

Anonymous said...

John K: As for Sen Warner, yep another Republican who forgot what the term conservative means. So Sen Warner will go away, no loss to the conservative movement there, and we will get some conservatives who understand what that term means in office. Newt Gingrich Rules !

Anonymous said...

John K: Ed Heath, speaking of Senators, how about Sen Chucky Schumer, caused the collapse of that Indymac bank. Yah federal regulators are investigating him. Democrats for the little people. LMAO LMAO

C.H. said...

I've always made the case that the far-left and the far-right get along just fine when it suits their interest, and here you people are using Pat Buchanan--a racist nutjob lobbying to build the "Great Wall of America"--to ensure the US minds its business to despotic regime.

I recently wrote a post about Iran on my blog, about how beautiful it is and how amazing its culture and people are. I don't want to see war break out with Iran any more than you do, but the Revolutionaries in Tehran are indeed evil, and the best way to see them dethroned is to empower the Iranian people--without using US military action.

If the were to enact a policy like this, would any of you support it? BTW, its quite neauseating to see that Khamenei and the Mullahs are going out of their way to make Israel feel threatened...as you guys pointed out, they doctored phots of a missile launch, all in an attempt to make the bloody theocracy look more formidable than it really is.

Infinonymous said...

Not everyone in the reality-based world agrees, but I don't mind the columns written by Santorum (whom the voters already made "go away").

Each column makes it less likely that Santorum will return to a government position from which his strange philosophies can influence our public policy.

cathcatz said...

john k, i'm not against tax breaks. i'm against tax breaks for people who are living off of dividends, not paycheck to paycheck like me. if obama can create a realistic tax structure for the middle class, that would be great. but wait... did you just admit that obama isn't going to RAISE taxes? whoa there bud. you're off your talking points.