Why Hillary's Iran Vote Is Dangerous

As someone said, the recent vote on Iran is like calling the US army a terrorist organization because it follows the orders of the President of the United States. So, through this vote, you are essentially calling the Iranian president a terrorist, kind of like you call Bin Laden a terrorist.

The Iranian president is not a nice guy, I don't like him. If he had been elected by the Iranian people, I would have been okay with him, but in that country a council of mullahs decides who may or may not run for president. They too have a caucus there, but it is not a caucus of the ordinary people.

But I would call the Iranian president a semi-elected theocrat rather than a terrorist. Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, but he was a dictator, he was not a terrorist. Bin Laden is a terroist. You necessarily have to draw those distinctions if you want to make any headway in the Middle East.

Right before I came to the US as an international student, I bought a whole bunch of Hindi music tapes. I would play them in my room, different tapes on different days when I had time. Some were classical Indian music, some were gazals, some were songs from Hindi films, many different Hindi films from many different time periods, different decades.

Luke lived next door. He once asked me, "Can I ask you something?"

Be my guest, I said.

"Why do you play the same song again and again?" he said.

The dude could not tell the difference between one song and another, and I must have had more than 100 songs.

Hillary is acting like Luke. If Dick Cheney is Darth Vader like Hillary said recently, I guess Hillary is Lucas, or Luke.

Bin Laden, Saddam and Ahmedinejad are three different songs, rather three different genres. Classical, heavy metal and choir music.

A rule of thumb is you don't talk to terrorists. It is a physical fight to the finish. You don't negotiate, you don't talk.

This Iran vote means President Hillary will not want to talk to Iran. That is not Bush Lite, that is Bush on steroids. In February, Hillary said she was open to talking to Iran. Then a few months later she called Obama "naive and irresponsible" for wanting to talk to Iran. A few weeks back she again said she was open to talking to Iran. Now she has voted in a way that will make it impossible for her to talk to Iran: you don't talk to terrorists. She couldn't talk even if she wanted to.

Will the real Hillary please stand up?

Is Iran innocent? No, it is not innocent. No country that is not a democracy is innocent. Saudi Arabia is not innocent. Egypt is not. Burma, Zimbabwe.

Has Iran meddled in Iraq's civil war? Yes. Has every other country in the region? Saudi Arabia? Syria? Yes. They have all been discreetly taking sides. The non war option would be to hold a regional summit of all those powers, televised, open, transparent. That would be a great way to diffuse the tension. It is called direct diplomacy. Bush and Hillary wouldn't know.

Do I want regime change in Iran? Yes. Saudi Arabia? Yes. Egypt? Yes.

Should the US keep its military options with Iran? Yes. Why only Iran, the US should keep its military options open with every country, with China, with Russia. That is why there is a military.


But, war is always, always the weapon of last resort. That was true in 2002, that is true today.

But when you snuff out possibility of dialogue, you are saying war is going to be your first option. That is a highly dangerous proposition.

When the US invaded Iraq, it took one eye off the Al Qaeda. If the US were to invade Iran, it will have taken both eyes off the Al Qaeda. That organization is stronger today than it was before 9/11, and, according to Hillary's recent article in the Foreign Affairs, the Al Qaeda will not hesitate for a second if it thinks it can strike America. It will strike. How much sense would it make to take the eyes off that organization completely?

The weirdest part is this. The US is so bogged down in Iraq, it does not really have the option to invade Iran. Unless you bring back the draft in a major way. Iran is a much bigger, more complicated country than Iraq was under Saddam. You could not just conduct air raids. Either way, you will start a regional war that involves Israel.

That is World War III.

And for what? Because you don't have the wisdom, knowledge, attitude and skills to exhaust all the non military options first?

Spreading democracy is a science. It can work like clockwork. It can work for Iran. You do it the grassroots way, the progressive way, organizing the diaspora way, a war with communications technology way, the nonviolent way. Now that war, I am for.

I am for a war of communications technology with Iran, with Saudi Arabia, with Egypt, Syria.

Only democratic Arab countries can co-exist with a democratic Israel. Democracy is key. And the only sure way to spread democracy is the grassroots way, the nonviolent way.

So I ask, is the US doing all it can to help the democracy activists in Burma? I don't think so. It is doing maybe 1% of what it could do. How about 10 million dollars in direct funding to the democracy activists there?

Nepal proved in April 2006 when people come out into the streets in the millions for days, weeks, the dictator has to get out of the picture. That is not anomaly, that is science.

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In The News

US Prosecution of Muslim Group Ends in Mistrial New York Times prosecutors failed to persuade a jury to convict five leaders of a Muslim charity on any charges, or even to reach a verdict on many of the 197 counts. ....... the government’s largest and most complex legal effort to shut down what it contends is American financing for terrorist organizations in the Middle East. ......... the prosecution said, the foundation supported terrorism by sending more than $12 million to charitable groups, known as zakat committees, which build hospitals and feed the poor. ...... the largest Muslim charity in the United States until the government froze its assets in late 2001. ....... called into question the government’s tactics in freezing the assets of charities using secret evidence that the charities cannot see, much less rebut ........ Two previous cases, in Illinois and in Florida, ended with hung juries ...... Holy Land’s supporters, who packed the courtroom during the trial, and who carried some defendants around on their shoulders outside the courthouse chanting “Praise God” in Arabic. ...... Mr. Elashi’s daughter Noor, who was in the courtroom every day during the trial, said she considered her father a hero. “He was singled out for feeding and clothing and educating the children of Palestine,” she said. “Giving charity to the Palestinian people has become a crime in this country.”
The Elderly Always Sleep Worse, and Other Myths of Aging sleep starts to deteriorate in late middle age and steadily erodes from then on ..... To researchers’ great surprise, it turns out that sleep does not change much from age 60 on. And poor sleep, it turns out, is not because of aging itself, but mostly because of illnesses or the medications used to treat them. ........ “If you look at older adults who are very healthy, they rarely have sleep problems.” ....... Their sleep turned out to be different from sleep in young people: it was lighter, more often disrupted by brief awakenings, and shorter by a half hour to an hour. ........ Most of the changes in sleep patterns occurred when people were between the ages of 20 and 60. Compared with teenagers and young adults, healthy middle-aged and older people slept a half hour to an hour less each night, they woke up a bit more often during the night, and their sleep was lighter. But after age 60, there was little change in sleep, at least in people who were healthy. .......... The 80-year-olds took an average of 10 more minutes to fall asleep. ....... no increase in daytime drowsiness in healthy older people. ....... brief wakeful moments typically lasting about 3 to 10 seconds. ....... sleep apnea, chronic pain, restless leg syndrome or urinary problems ...... Fragmented sleep .. led to severe impairments the next day in pain pathways. The subjects felt pain more easily, were less able to inhibit pain, and even developed spontaneous pain, like mild backaches and headaches. ........ 10 hours a night. The extra sleep ... reduced their sensitivity to pain to the same degree as a tablet of codeine. ...... “It’s not normal to get a clinical sleep disorder when you get old.”
Can Obama Make Iran Clinton’s New Iraq? New York Times “Why is this amendment so dangerous? Because George Bush and Dick Cheney could use this language to justify keeping our troops in Iraq as long as they can point to a threat from Iran. And because they could use this language to justify an attack on Iran as a part of the ongoing war in Iraq.” ...... she implicitly takes at dig at Mr. Obama, saying “I was there, I exercised leadership, and I explained my vote.’’ ...... In 2004, Iowans showed they did not like attack ads, or even those providing strong, policy contrasts if presented in an aggressive fashion. ..... “murder-suicide.” ...... an old political rule that a harsh attack in a multi-candidate field can hurt the attacker and the one being attacked.
Obama going on offensive on Iran Baltimore Sun is sending out a color mailing today ....... Obama's campaign has been working hard to try to make an issue out of the vote, although some have criticized the effort, including the Washington Post's editorial page. ..... Iran, an issue that may be more important for the next president than Iraq. ..... Obama condemned as "dangerous" and "reckless" .... the resolution "opened the door to an extension and escalation of the ongoing war in Iraq to include military action against Iran." ..... the "first and most important avenue to contain Iranian aggression" should be "direct diplomacy"
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Hillary Clinton defends Iran vote Telegraph.co.uk The message to Iowa voters, contained in an envelope promising an "important letter from Hillary inside", indicates she feels vulnerable on the Iran issue, particularly because of her 2002 vote to authorise the Iraq invasion. ....... accuse her of over-confidence and of misjudging the anti-war mood not just of Democrats but of the whole country.
Candidate Hillary: the GOP's dream Los Angeles Times the GOP is dying to run against Hillary Clinton ....... Mike Huckabee deadpanned: "Look, I like to be funny. There's nothing funny about Hillary Clinton being president." ........ something deeply advantageous about having her as an opponent ...... how Hillary gives the GOP its best chance at being the party of change. ..... Newt Gingrich, for one, has been pointing this out for months, using the electoral triumph of Nicolas Sarkozy in France last spring as an example. ....... Democrats got a significant victory in 2006, when they took control of both houses of Congress. And now Congress is even less popular than Bush. In other words, the clamor for change in Washington is much bigger than Bush. ....... Any Republican will start with 40% to 45% of the vote in his pocket once he gets the nomination. The question that remains is whether the critical 5% to 10% of swing voters will think Hillary Clinton represents the sort of change they want. ....... What most independents and swing voters want is an end to the acrimony and bitterness in Washington -- and a candidate they like. ..... Party activists are drunk with Clinton nostalgia. ...... Whitewater, travelgate, illegal fundraising, bimbo eruptions and impeachment ...... Howard Dean, the conviction candidate, experienced the political equivalent of spontaneous human combustion ...... synthesized Ted Kennedy's politics with Michael Dukakis' charisma while bragging about his service in a war he built a career denouncing. ....... Is it really so obvious that, say, Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney represent "change" less than the ultimate Clinton retread, complete with Bill as "first gentleman?"
Clinton camp relishes Republicans' focus Newsday jeers, snide remarks and hand-wringing warnings ....... her name was mentioned nearly three dozen times in the 90-minute debate ..... "Almost every one of them is within the statistical margin of error," he said. "If those polls are correct, then the president of the United States right now is John Kerry." ........ "I like to be funny ... There's nothing funny about Hillary Clinton being president," predicting higher taxes, government-run health care, a low-morale military and sagging U.S. resolve. ...... Ron Paul insisted he is more anti-war than Clinton. .... "She said that the troops would be there for another five years," he said. And even that attack on her won applause.

California Fires Destroy Scores of Homes New York Times the fires, a Hydra with at least 15 separate burns in seven counties fed by gale-force winds, one of the state’s worse. .... new fires erupting as others receded and reignited with every shift in the wind. ..... Officials feared the fires would burn from inland mountains all the way to the ocean. ...... more than 30,000 acres were burning ...... scores of homes burning in a remote area of Los Angeles. ........ Some of the fires appeared to have started by downed power lines but a few were believed to have been caused by arson. ....... Dozens of men, women and children in Canyon Country north of Los Angeles grabbed shovels and garden hoses and fought flames creeping up a canyon within 50 feet of their homes. About seven children and young teenagers worked in tandem with their parents as the flames approached their back fences.
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Clinton Finds Way to Play Along With Drudge New York Times Within minutes, the Drudge site had injected Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s fund-raising success into the day’s political news on the Internet and cable television. .......... the front lines of the campaign — the hourly, intensely fought effort to capture the news cycle or deny ownership of it to the other side — ........ her pragmatic approach to dealing with potential enemies ........ scoops, gossip and innuendo ....... television producers, radio talk show hosts and newspaper reporters view it as a bulletin board for the latest news and gossip. ....... its users clicked onto the site a combined 16 million times in the course of a single day last week ...... its ability to attract well-placed leaks and traffic in the freshest and rawest material — though sometimes including what some have considered smears. .......... for all his renown in politics is a somewhat spectral presence who rarely agrees to meet with political operatives or journalists ........ his syndicated radio program ...... what Republicans have always thought: “No single person is more relevant to shaping the media environment in a political campaign.” ........ in 2004 they considered Mr. Drudge’s site so central in their efforts to undermine Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign that they systemized their approach to him. ......... quoted as saying on his program: “I need Hillary Clinton. You don’t get it. I need to be part of her world. That’s my bank.”
Hillary Clinton woos man who nearly ruined her husband Guardian Unlimited Drudge is one of Hillary Clinton's best kept secrets. ...... the woman previously viewed by diehard Republicans as the mother of all that is liberal and permissive in America. ....... The story on Ms Clinton's fundraising prowess dominated the news cycle. ....... the site claims 422 million log-ons in the past month - with television and radio producers scouring the site for potential scoops. ...... her relationship with the media has remained frosty. ...... "She is one of the most isolated candidates in modern American history. Everything is stage-managed"
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Watch Out for Lynne Cheney's Elbow American Spectator Second Lady Lynne Cheney, like her husband, really knows how to throw a vicious elbow. Last week she was doing the talk show rounds to promote her memoirs, Blue Skies, No Fences, when she let slip to MSNBC that Vice President Dick Cheney and Illinois senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama are related. "Isn't that an amazing thing?" she teased. ..... he and Dick Cheney are "cousins" -- eighth cousins, to be exact. .... Newspapers and cable channels broke out pictures of a smiling Obama, surrounded by his family, being sworn in as a senator by Vice President Cheney in 2005. ...... Worse, the second lady also attacked Senator Clinton by name. Mrs. Cheney told the AP that Clinton's wavering on Iraq "makes me uncomfortable."...... encourage the nomination of Clinton, a sort-of pro-war Democrat who will have a hard time drawing very sharp distinctions between herself and a Republican in the general election. .... former Crossfire co-host is well-connected, smart, and very good at inflicting pain on political opponents. ..... Lynne Cheney let Kerry have it. Speaking as "a mom, and a pretty indignant mom," she told a Pittsburg crowd, "This is not a good man." ..... Kerry tried to clarify his remarks but it was hard to know what to say that wouldn't make it worse. Lynne Cheney had caught him at just the right angle and he was smarting.

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Bush’s Request for Wars Increases to $196 Billion New York Times the force in Iraq, now at more than 160,000 troops. ....... The spending request — declared an emergency under spending rules, even though the need for the money was never in question — ........ “The entire war has been paid with borrowed money” ...... the cost of less than 40 days in Iraq would pay for health-care coverage for 10 million children for a year. ....... nearly $800 million to support a United Nations peacekeeping mission and elections in Sudan; $106 million for fuel oil under a deal with North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program; and more than $400 million in assistance to the Palestinians as part of the administration’s efforts to nurture a peace treaty with Israel.
Inch by Inch, Great Lakes Shrink, and Cargo Carriers Face Losses Lake Ontario .. is about seven inches below where it was a year ago. And for every inch of water that the lakes lose, the ships that ferry bulk materials across them must lighten their loads by 270 tons — or 540,000 pounds — or risk running aground ........ 240 million tons of cargo travel across the Great Lakes every year.
Row over N-deal deepens in India Pakistan Dawn reports of Dr Singh’s anger at some of his cabinet colleagues who he is alleged to have accused of betrayal. ........ he felt let down .... the government was ready to convene a special session of parliament to discuss the deal.
Pakistani Official Offers New Details of Bhutto Attack New York Times the deadliest of more than 50 suicide attacks in Pakistan in recent years. ....... More than 500 people were wounded ....... the police had found no traces of a grenade ...... The governments of Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates had warned her that suicide bombers were intending to attack her cavalcade. ....... Security officials meanwhile had tried to persuade her to take the standard precautions that they employ for all official and political visits — such as not revealing the route of her procession, the vehicle she was traveling in or the time of her arrival, and moving as fast as possible from one place to another — but Mr. Ebad said she had not accepted their suggestions. .......... “They had decided to take 18 hours to travel to the mausoleum. .......... Bhutto had made well-publicized statements before her return to Pakistan that would have caused extremists to make her a target. ....... she had hailed the government’s military action against militants in the Red Mosque in Islamabad in July, and she had said she would allow American forces to conduct operations in Pakistan ..........staging huge rallies has always been the traditional way of campaigning for elections in Pakistan, especially among the illiterate and rural communities. ....... the men were “100 percent” Pakistani. ...... The bombers used C4 plastic explosive, the same type used in the bombing of a United States consulate vehicle in Karachi in March 2006 ..... the first bomber was carrying 17 to 22 pounds of explosives and the second 33 pounds
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Clinton draws huge crowds in Central Valley San Jose Mercury News What's a Democratic candidate for president doing in the state's conservative farm belt 100 days before the California primary? "It had all of us scratching our heads," Jay Hubbell, secretary of the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee, said with a chuckle. Especially considering there was no fundraiser on the schedule. ...... drew about 4,000 residents ...... a candidate who is running away from her rivals in California ..... Some old-timers said Clinton drew the biggest turnout for a presidential candidate's rally since Robert F. Kennedy stumped in Fresno in 1968. ...... Her visit is also a sign of her confidence that she has the primary election wrapped up in California. ........ Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Clinton supporter, was headed to Nevada to campaign for her among Latinos there. ....... Her campaign has issued a memo "How Hillary Will Win the West." ....... is supported by 44 percent of the state's non-white voters. ....... "We're going to lead the world with our values and our ideals as well as our strength." ....... Obama spokeswoman Debbie Mesloh said Clinton "may have more paid staff, but we have a ton of people organizing in the field," including a new operation in Fresno. 'We're not phone banking; we're going door-to-door asking for votes." ....... United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta, the first black woman elected to the Fresno City Council and the first Hmong elected to a city council in the nation.
Hillary Clinton Seen As Strong Democratic Frontrunner Voice of America many Democrats and political experts are beginning to wonder if anything or anyone can stop Clinton's march to the nomination. ...... Clinton's lead in the polls has grown in recent months, as the pace of the campaign begins to accelerate. ...... "Well, if you are ready for change, I am ready to lead, and this country is desperate for leadership," she said. ....... a very skillful campaign ....... very disciplined and solid on the campaign trail ...... she has almost universal name recognition. And, I think, there is an increasing clamor in the country to see a woman nominated as president." ....... She leads in Iowa and New Hampshire ..... what has been surprising to me is how well the Clinton campaign has weathered the rigors of being the frontrunner ........ he has yet to give the American people a solid rationale as to why they should reject Hillary Clinton ........ a feeling that he may not be quite ready, and that he is a future, rather than a present presidential candidate ...... late August in Denver, Colorado.