The American Bear


Bolton celebrates Iraq War | Belén Fernández

John Bolton, senior fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, has produced a dispatch for the Guardian in honour of the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, titled “Overthrowing Saddam Hussein was the right move for the US and its allies”.

The purpose of the piece is to counteract the supposedly destructive machinations of persons who have come to the conclusion that the US should be “withdrawing around the world and reducing its military capacity”. Bolton detects a “relentless hostility by the war’s opponents [that] now threaten[s] to overwhelm, in the public mind, the clear merits of eliminating Iraq’s Baathist dictatorship”.

To be sure, opponents of bellicose projects are far more deserving of blame for “relentless hostility” than, say, devotees of the US militarism that is to thank for the devastation of Iraq and countless human beings therein.

According to Bolton’s inverted reality, war critics pursue the dangerous curtailment of US military might by peddling “myths” such as that “[George W] Bush lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction”.

As for Bolton’s own expansive arsenal of myths that actually qualify as myths, these include the notion that the island of Cuba poses an existential threat to the US. [continue]

Another Fox News Contributor Isn't Disclosed As A Member Of Romney's Campaign | Media Matters for America

Fox News contributor Elaine Chao has recently appeared on Fox Business to criticize Obama over the economy and push the falsehood that he stripped the work requirement from welfare. During these appearances, Fox didn’t disclose that Chao is a national chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Fox News has made it a regular practice to not disclose some of its frequent guests’ ties to the Romney campaign.

In an August 2 press release announcing her appointment, Chao stated that she is “honored that Governor Mitt Romney asked me to serve as the national chair of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Romney” and that “it will take new leadership to put this country on a path to prosperity and full employment.”

News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, recently nominated Chao to join its Board of Directors. Chao is married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Fox News contributors John Bolton and Walid Phares, and Fox regular Jay Sekulow, have all appeared on the network to criticize Obama without disclosing they’re Romney advisers. Fox News contributor Pete Snyder is the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia’s 2012 coordinated committee. And Fox News contributor Karl Rove is the co-founder and adviser for the super PAC American Crossroads, which is spending tens of millions of dollars to defeat Democrats.

(Source: sarahlee310, via randomactsofchaos)

[A] dollar spent on the military is ‘different’: it’s less valuable in terms of job creation than spending on government programs such as those administered precisely by the Department of Health and Human Services. This, however, will probably be news to Mitt Romney and his generously-spending militaristic advisers. What shouldn’t be news to the Romney campaign however, is [John] Bolton’s push to rob social security and health care spending to give more money to the military. Stumping For Romney, Bolton Calls For More Military Spending At The Expense Of Health Care

Mitt Romney's Neocon War Cabinet | The Nation

In December Gingrich pledged at a forum sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition that he would appoint Bolton to run Foggy Bottom. But the mustachioed über-hawk, who was a controversial under secretary of state for arms control and UN ambassador in the Bush administration, endorsed Romney instead. Bolton has since campaigned energetically for him, serving as a key surrogate on national security issues. “Many conservatives hope that [will] include accepting a senior national security post in a Romney administration,” wrote Jennifer Rubin, a neoconservative blogger for the Post.

Few advisers personify the pugnacity of Romney’s foreign policy team better than Bolton. He has been a steadfast opponent of international organizations and treaties and seems never to have met a war he didn’t like. Shortly before the invasion of Iraq, he told Israeli officials that Syria, Iran and North Korea would be the next US targets. Over the past few years Bolton has been an outspoken proponent of an Israeli attack on Iran. “Mitt Romney will restore our military, repair relations with our closest allies and ensure that no adversary—including Iran—ever questions American resolve,” Bolton said when endorsing Romney. “John’s wisdom, clarity and courage are qualities that should typify our foreign policy,” Romney responded.

Bolton: Spend More On Weapons, Cut Veterans Health Care And Retirement | ThinkProgress

Photo: The Shaggy DA, John Bolton

War hawk John Bolton is adamantly opposed to any cuts to the Defense Department’s budget, or military spending in general. In fact, he thinks the U.S. should spend more. Bolton recently argued that in order to put more in the Pentagon’s coffers, Congressshould take funds from Social Security and Medicare.

On Fox News last night, Bolton cheered Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s — so far evidence-free — claim that further cuts in military spending would be “devastating.” “We have been under spending on defense. We should be spending more,” Bolton said, adding that the U.S. should be directing those additional funds toward weapons and “force levels around the world.” Yet Bolton does see an area where the military can trim the fat: veterans’ health care and retirement benefits:

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Nobody is talking about monitoring these contractors to see where our money is going. That’s the thing that is stunning. We’re talking about how much we need. But we are not doing anything it seems to make sure we really need it.

BOLTON: We should be. Look, there’s fraud and waste in the defense budget, of course there is.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why doesn’t anybody talk about that?

BOLTON: That’s part of the government. I think we can do more in military health care for example, to cut costs there, in the retirement system

Good to know that Obama’s Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has the backing of the dipshits that started this mess. And Hillary Clinton as well.

U.S. politicians' favorite terrorist group | Murtaza Hussain

What the U.S. relationship with Mujahedin-e-Khalq does is further clarify the inherent meaninglessness of the designation of individuals or groups as being “terrorist.” For their perpetration of deadly attacks against civilians and for their links to brutal regimes, MEK members could perhaps expect to be interned in Guantanamo Bay without due process; instead they are unabashedly lobbying for their cause in Washington and using large sums of money to exert influence over U.S. politicians. That these politicians are engaged in providing support for an FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization), an activity for which countless individuals have been interned, tortured and killed, further illustrates that “supporting terrorism” in today’s parlance simply refers to providing support to an organization which commits violence of which the U.S. does not approve. MEK’s actions undoubtedly fit the objective definition of terrorism and they have been recognized for decades as being terrorists, but since their violence is convenient for U.S. foreign policy hawks at present they avoid that dangerous label and are instead able to freely propagate their agenda in the United States without fear of retribution.

The fact that U.S. officials are openly consorting with, and receiving funding from, a group with American blood on its hands in order to promote that group’s interests is something which may escape the notice of its citizenry, but it is keenly watched by Iranians and others who are looking to the gauge the level of integrity and consistency in U.S. policy. The selective application of the label of “terrorist” based on who the U.S. is choosing to fight at any given point is further evidence of the bankruptcy of this term. “Terrorists” are those who are interred in CIA black sites, subject to legally sanctioned torture and killed without public outcry; but as the case of the MEK shows the very definition of who is a terrorist is based not upon what acts individuals or groups commit, but upon how favorably or unfavorably those acts are viewed in Washington. The level to which the term is demonstrably hollow and meaningless can be glimpsed here in the fact that U.S. officials themselves feel little reticence about openly engaging in an act which they condemn others for; providing material support to terrorist groups.