Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: November Surprises; Robert Gates And Nancy Pelosi ...

10 November 2006

November Surprises; Robert Gates And Nancy Pelosi ...


What fast paced, past few days in the States the world's witnessed, eh?

So many surprises, eh?

This was one 'em -- well, it was to us two at any rate.

It's regarding Rummy's replacement Robert Gates.

Here's a tiny teaser.

That put Gates inside a web of conspirators in the illegal arms sales and money transfers who included Oliver North, National Security Adviser John Poindexter, former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane ...

Now, take off to Tom Rushing's 'Current Era' for more.

So ... moving swiftly along ...

What's the second surprise ... sez you.

Here's a taster first ...sez we.

“The greatest threat to Israel’s right to exist, with the prospect of devastating violence, now comes from Iran.

For too long, leaders of both political parties in the United States have not done nearly enough to confront the Russians and the Chinese, who have supplied Iran as it has plowed ahead with its nuclear and missile technology.”

Read the the rest of this rather revealing Pelosi piece.

P.S. We don't know about you, but she sounds to us like she's already waging war, or at the very least -- more than ready, willing and rearing to go.



Blogger meldonna said...

Greetings, Merseyside, from Seattle!

A note on Pelosi: Republicans call her a "San Francisco liberal". You must realize, of course, I live in a country where everybody to the left of Ann Coulter is considered a bleeding heart, at least in our media. Nancy has always been centrist, even somewhat conservative in policy, so I myself am not surprised to hear a little saber-rattling. If for no other reason than to pander to the Bubbas out in the sticks, so to say.

I do believe it is more bark than bite, and I do believe Pelosi is far more inclined to negotiate with diplomats rather than with bombs.

The Gates nomination is more troubling to me. It's apparent Bush is incapable of nominating anyone free of past murky dealings. I don't think he KNOWS anyone free of scandal, which explains much and excuses nothing.

A lot of people like myself believe the work in this country is just beginning; change in Congress is welcome, but oversight and investigations are long past due. This is not to say I haven't been rather gleeful this week -- it would not be an understatement to describe me as dancing. On the ceiling! After six nightmare years, it feels good to win one for a change.

2:32 am  
Anonymous Rex said...

Is she also 'pandering' when it comes to Israel and Palestine - in your personal reading of her, meldonna?

2:25 pm  
Anonymous gordo said...


I don't think that Pelosi and her fellow Democrats would back a pre-emptive war with Iran, absent an imminent threat to the US or Israel. That alone puts her head and shoulders above the Republican leadership.

Unfortunately, Americans as a group are still far too ready to overlook Israeli atrocities. And while public opinion here is slowly changing, our elected officials lag quite far behind public opinion on this issue.

2:48 pm  
Anonymous musings said...

It seems very easy to blend the figures at a distance and without a sense of nuance. Those who consider Iraq a debacle will not be persuaded by the need to protect Israel as a rationale to enter war with Iran. There is a big military contingent to the opposition to the war.

As for Nancy Pelosi, she is an urban politician (originally from an Italian enclave in Baltimore), as well as a practicing Catholic. She has some interesting social premises: while she is prochoice (and herself the mother of 5), she would prosecute anyone who deprived a pregnant woman of her pregnancy without her consent, through violence. This sounds like the pro-abortion sentiment of a Sandra Day O'Connor who understood that the State which takes away the right to choose, could through some contortions take away the right to carry a child to term, choice being a two-edged sword. I would say that the centrist social ideas of O'Connor may resemble those of Pelosi in some ways. But it would take further study.

What about her party? There are those who have a Jonathan Swiftian notion about war (his essay on the eating of Irish babies). They claim that if everyone was drafted the war would stop. In fact the opposite it true. It would put far more tempting means before the hawks. As it is, they must economize, and their Second Pearl Harbor has been and gone.

I feel that Gates is what you get when you are desperate to have a lasting effect while you still have a Republican majority for confirmation. It will be a test of the boast of those Democrats who are seated already but waiting for backup in January that they want oversight. What can they do to keep Gates and Bolton from confirmation? Bush needs to have a new SecDef who is credibly competent by 2008.

I see overtones of Nixon's last days and the end of the Vietnam War.

On the other hand, Israel is perfectly capable of embroiling itself in Iran and demanding to be helped out - or else. I just don't know how they will play it. They ARE alienating the major European powers at every turn (except Britain).

But I said it once and I'll say it again: The US is not a monolith. Our votes do count. However the Old Guard around Bush are the defense and power and banking and Wall Street Establishment. They are however not stupid and not impractical, or they would have lost their wealth and power long ago.
The know you cannot violate the laws of nature for your ideological dreams.

I don't have ultimate faith in them, but I chuckle to recall Livia's words in "I, Claudius:" "Find a dog who'll eat a dog."

7:03 pm  
Anonymous Charles said...

Two things (about two Americans I hadn't previously heard of) already seem obvious to me.

Gates is as big a (Bush Family/Mafia) ganster as they come.

Pelosi is as big a 'pro-pol' as they come.

I've already 'judged' Gates.
As for Pelosi, I'll wait a while longer before judging her - and then, by her actions rather than her words.

7:40 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...

Hi Richard:

Via a commenter of Colonel Lang's site I came across this article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Hubris and Nemesis in Heads of Government written bt David Owen (remember him?) IIRC correctly he was a consultant psychiatrist specialising in Neurologically based psychiatric disorder before he went into politics full-time.

Here's a sample of the article;

"The centralizing nature of US President George W Bush and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair was such that they were both in search of more power and were therefore particularly susceptible to being swept up with the intoxication of power, following the tragic events of September 2001 in New York and Washington, referred to as 9/11. The war against terrorism was sponsored by Bush and designed by Cheney. It was the opportunity to strengthen the powers of the President. It was modern hubris, described by Daniel Bell as ‘the refusal to accept limits, the insistence on continually reaching out. The modern world proposes a destiny that is always beyond: beyond morality, beyond tragedy, beyond culture.’10 Bush and Blair began ‘trying to create a new legal regime’11 for avoiding the constraints of international and national law on interrogation and detention after their military intervention in Afghanistan and later Iraq. They planned to build a ‘new paradigm’12 to replace the Geneva Conventions that were not allowed to apply to al-Qaeda or Taliban prisoners,13 and they tried to do all this by themselves, with little or no consultation with friends or allies.


Being psycho-analysed is not new for a political leader. Freud wrote a book about Woodrow Wilson. Blair had a book written about him from a psychoanalytical standpoint by Leo Abse, a former Labour MP. Initially Abse's analysis of the impact of Blair's childhood was dismissed but increasingly it has been given greater regard.16 One of the analytical books on Bush is by Dr Justin Frank. He claims megalomania and mania exhibit three overtly similar defensive characteristics: control, contempt and triumph. ‘A manic person wants to repair the damage he's caused, once he recognizes it. He feels guilt. The megalomaniac is indifferent to any damage he caused, because he had a reason for his actions; he is without guilt or compassion, and incapable of even thinking about making reparation.’17 "

It's well worth spending the time on, recommended by your friendly Grinning Greying Gaelic Gorilla Guidance Giver to you and your readers. :-)

8:33 pm  
Blogger meldonna said...

I'm pretty much of the same mind as charles above re: pelosi. Now that the bluster of the elections is behind us for the time being.

Personally, I'm appalled by the US's mideast policy. Why any and all of Israel's actions that many times are sheer exercises in overkill should be so fiercely defended in DC by Republicans and Democrats alike is beyond me.

For anything meaningful to be accomplished in Washington in the coming political season, I'm almost resigned to tolerate a lot of bloviating from all fronts. Don't forget that our press, for the most part, is EXTREMELY hawkish and embarrassingly right wing. I, for one, intend to do whatever I can in my own power to hold some Democratic feet to the coals and insist on the necessary, and long overdue reforms in all matters, foreign and domestic. And Lawdy, is there a lot of work to do.

6:58 am  
Anonymous gordo said...


Off topic, but I couldn't help noticing your post on Blair's big scandal. Just when you think that the corruption level in Bushco can't be outdone.

7:43 am  
Anonymous whoever said...

The Blair peerages-for-cash scam (and subsequent ongoing police investigation) has been played down for a while, untill quite recently. The fact that it's come to the fore again makes me (and others) believe it's in it's closing stages.

Only last week Lord Sainsbury quit his ministerial post -- to spend more time doing more 'charitable work'. Ha. Yeah, sure.

Btw, Richard blogged on this only recently.

10:24 am  
Blogger Sophia said...

Pelosi is an Israel fanatic. Practically verybody in the US political caste is. Israel is driving the US politics in the ME, it is likely that no big change in the ME US politics will happen.
Plus , democrats will be so much afraid to have accusations of being soft on terrorism that they will not have the courage to chnage course radically. The mess we are in will last for a while...

12:48 pm  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

Americans are also afraid of being anti-semitic if they attempt to discuss Israel and its politics.

I am very concerned about Pelosi's attitude toward Israel.

I am unsure how much Israel controls America, but I fear it is greater than we can imagine.

9:24 pm  
Blogger Sophia said...

I read the article you referred to. Interesting. What struck me in the portrayal of Balir in the movie 'The Queen' is that he was somehow jealous, not of the power of the Queem, because she has no real political power, but of her, Charisma, class and probably her aristocratic allure. He wanted them all for him and sized the first occasion, the death of Diana, to try to diminish the Queen. It was a power struggle but an oedipian one. At the end of the movie, once the queen has bowed to his pressures, he started to feel sympathy for her. The only relation this kind of people can have with others is through domination and power. It also enlightened me about the special relation Bair entertained with Bush. I think he took Bush as a 'democratic' replacement for the distant father/mother figure the Queen had for him. These people are anything but rational people. They are scary...

12:28 pm  

Post a Comment

COMMENTS and Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home