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Daniel McAdams

Let's Play Time Machine With Thomas Friedman

Sadly, Thomas Friedman is still acceptable in polite society. As a complement to Dr. Paul's commentary this week on Iraq, watch the below clip from the not-so-distant past, recorded just over a month after the US attacked Iraq, and remind yourselves why it is a shame he is not ostracized. If he has apologized for his comments in this interview, I have not been able to find it.

Friedman, occupying his own linguistic universe, justifies the US attack on Iraq because there was a "terrorist bubble" in the 1990s which "said flying planes into the World Trade Center was OK."
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It's Always Munich


The P5+1 negotiations in Geneva have been fascinating thus far. Iran came to the table well-prepared and determined to make a deal, presenting a complex and reasonable proposal. Iran is reportedly prepared to accept more thorough inspections of its nuclear facilities and some limits on how much and to what level it will enrich uranium. In exchange, Iran requests a loosening of US-imposed international sanctions and recognition of its right to enrich uranium.

Considering the fact that under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Iran has the right to enrich for peaceful purposes as much uranium as it wishes, acknowledgement of what is already in the treaty is hardly an excessive demand in the Iranian side.

Nevertheless, the neocons are having a collective nervous breakdown at the possibility -- still uncertain -- that the US/Iran impasse might be solved without the use of US firepower.
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Rep. Mike Rogers Threatens Extrajudicial Execution

The US State Department every year releases its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, arrogating to itself the right to judge how the rest of the world measures up to US standards of respect for human rights.

One of the key measurements the US uses to determine whether the rest of the world is up to its stated standards of human rights protection is whether the country engages in "extrajudicial executions," i.e. the state killing people without a legal trial. Needless to say, countries which engage in or promote extrajudicial killing are considered among the worst of the human rights abusers.
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McCain's Moderates Join Al-Qaeda

Senator John McCain was just sure he could pick moderates in Syria worth supporting. To prove his point he made a trip to Syria this spring to demonstrate how much the insurgents were just like us, struggling for democracy and equal rights for all.

But his trip was organized by the Syria Emergency Task Force's Mouaz Moustafa, who not long ago headed up the Libyan Council of North America. Both organizations are partly funded by the US State Department through a mirrored wilderness of NGO cutouts. But both have close ties to extremists fighting in each country. (In Libya, for example, Mustafa was with the people who killed US ambassador Stevens.) In McCain's case, the "moderates" he met and was so attracted to in Syria tunred out to be kidnappers and thugs.
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Should We Really Listen to Petraeus on Syria?

Remember General David Petraeus? The guy who claimed that as soon as his brilliant comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy (COIN) was implemented in Afghanistan the US would emerge victorious? The "maverick savior of Iraq" as he was christened by neocon historian Viktor David Hanson?

Anyone notice how Iraq and Afghanistan are doing these days? As TAC's Kelley Vlahos noticed recently, the once feverish pro-COIN blogs -- then giddy with the discovery of new ways to remake the world -- are "now-sluggish."

After two colossal failures, Petraeus has crawled out from under his rock of shame to again take up the cause of war-promotion. Heartily endorsing President Obama's request for authorization to use force on Syria, Patraeus betrays the real prize in the sights of the Syria war-promoters: Iran.

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Leslie Gelb on Egypt: Hold Your Nose and Back the Junta!

Long-time foreign policy insider Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, believes democracy is when the guys he likes win. Free elections that produce "enemies" of the US or Israel are by definition not democratic and the winners should be overthrown by the US and its allies.

Last month, in a column urging President Obama to avoid the "democracy-elections trap in Egypt," he argued that pushing democracy too strongly may bring unacceptable results, as happened in Gaza. He wrote:
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How Dare The Iranians Elect a Moderate?

Last week the US House voted 400-20 to dramatically increase sanctions on Iran, including measures to cripple Iran’s oil exports. Two days ago three-fourths of the US Senate sent a letter to President Obama demanding that the US “toughen sanctions and reinforce the credibility of our option to use military force” against Iran. Ominously, the Senate warned the president that the “time for diplomacy is nearing its end,” demanding a “convincing threat of the use of force that Iran will believe.”
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Sen. Graham Pounds His Shoe at Russia

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is furious that Moscow will not deliver NSA leaker Edward Snowden to the US to face treason and espionage charges. Graham no doubt misses the irony that what Snowden revealed was that the US government has been operating like the old Soviet Union and East Germany rolled into one and given a heavy dose of steroids.

Graham demands punishment for behavior that, had it been 25 years ago and a Soviet dissident rather than an American whistleblower, he likely would have praised. Well, maybe...
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Anthony Cordesman: 'Let's Be Heroes in Error on Syria!'

It is probably not completely fair to label establishmentarian "serious thinker" Anthony Cordesman a neocon, though his entire career has been more or less spent in their service, including as John McCain's national security aide. But here at Neocon Watch we have to judge the man (or woman) by the words they utter. And Cordesman unleashed a whopper this morning in the Washington Post.
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Lindsey Graham: Boycott the Soviets Again!

Q: Why couldn't Lindsey Graham find Russia on the map?
A: He'd be too confused looking for the Soviet Union

Neocon prince Lindsey Graham has decided to really hit the Soviets, er, Russians where it hurts. Although he no doubt dreams about bombs -- or at least sanctions -- to bring those stubborn Russians back in line, he has had to set his sights rather lower. In his hyperventilated desperation to punish Russia for not sending NSA leaker Edward Snowden back to face life in the American gulag system (another irony) he wants to go back to 1979 and boycott the Soviet Olympics!
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