Orthodox Jewish leader Rabbi Menahem Frohman made an impassioned appeal today for American Jews to embrace Senator Obama as a harbinger of peace in the Middle East. Amidst controversial reports coming out of Israel that most Americans there voted for McCain Rabbi Frohman’s religious prayers stand out as exceptional. Most of those polled are Orthdox, and this dovetails American trends in which Orthodox Jews are mostly voting for McCain. Here is the video from the Kotel, the Western Wall of the ancient Jewish Temple in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem.
We live in an age in which religion as an ideology has been weaponized by at least some people in every culture and civilization. But sometimes one sees exceptions, passionate expressions of piety that are for peace, not war, for love, not hatred. The constant in history is …
Iraq has rejected the United States’ use of its territory as a base from which to attack Syria. That is interesting because I thought that the justification for the attack was to defend Iraq from foreign fighters. No one has a greater stake in repelling foreign fighters than the Iraqis themselves. Though, wisely, they realize that building a peaceful relationship with their neighbors is far more effective than killing a few people and weakening the sovereignty of neighboring states.
Coverage of the incident is receiving increasing attention and analysis. I have done some of my own digging as to the source of the attack. It seems that most people assume that this attack across an international border could not have been done without the express approval of the White House and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But it is possible that the Vice President authorized it and presented it …
The timing is amazing from a neoconservative point of view, a few days before the American elections. Right now, after years of scrupulously avoiding crossing into Syrian territory, the American military receives instructions to invade a town in Syria and kill 8 people.
A U.S. military official confirmed late Sunday an American helicopter attack in an area along Syria’s border with Iraq, which left 8 people dead and three people wounded.
Syria condemned the attack, which it called “serious aggression.”
We are closer than ever before to serious conversations between Israel and Syria, Syria has recognized an international border with Lebanon for the first time in modern history, and this is horrifying to neoconservatives who ran Washington for the last decade. They need to use force and force only to conquer Iraq, Iran and Syria. And they need to promote a conception of the American presidency that is focused …
A very moving article by Maureen Dowd on Powell’s performance on television. It really represents a turning point, in my opinion, in the history of conservative America. Powell has called out the haters in his own Republican political party. He asks the right question, finally, ‘what if Obama were a Muslim’? What difference should it make in democratic America. What does trouble me is that Powell falls into a trip that many conservatives around the world fall into, he bonds based on a sharing of war with other men. I understand that he bonded with this Muslim soldier, but I wish it was not over war and death. Here is the picture that Powell stared at for an hour and that led to his epiphany:…
This editorial from the New York Times should be read in conjunction with Gary Wills’ trenchant analysis of Cheney’s aspiration for what conservatives have called ‘the unitary executive’, a doctrine that was responsible for nothing less than the catastrophe in Iraq, the torture, Guantanamo Bay, and scores of violations of the intent of the framers of the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Wills writes:
All these policies were driven by the unitary executive theory of the Constitution, which emanated from David Addington in Vice President Cheney’s office. Charlie Savage has documented that four Supreme Court justices are already enthusiastic supporters of the unitary theory—Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas. It takes only a fifth justice to solder that theory into place for the foreseeable future. This would be the most thorough reworking and distortion of the Constitution in all our history.
The stakes are staggering. That is why