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March 02, 2012

Dear President of the United States: Please Stop Being FUCKING INSANE

What interests me the most about politics is the way power turns essentially everyone who gets it into a lunatic. It's especially striking because you generally can't rise to the top without amazing emotional intelligence about how you appear to others. But once anyone reaches the summit they lose this ability within the first ninety seconds.

For instance: Barack Obama. In a long new interview with Jeffrey "Profound Morality" Goldberg, Obama explains what he hopes will happen with Iran and nuclear weapons: is important for us to see if we can solve this thing permanently, as opposed to temporarily. And the only way, historically, that a country has ultimately decided not to get nuclear weapons without constant military intervention has been when they themselves take [nuclear weapons] off the table. That's what happened in Libya, that's what happened in South Africa.

Before Obama became president, a part of his brain would have told him: Proposing Libya as a model for a "permanent solution" won't be very enticing to Iranian leaders, given that after Libya gave up nuclear weapons we attacked them and Gaddafi ended up dead with a knife stuck up his ass. Yet now that he's president he just blathers on with no comprehension of how he appears to the rest of the world. (Note also that Jeffrey "W.W. Beauchamp" Goldberg didn't follow up about this; lickspittles are crucial to the process of turning powerful people into psychos.)

P.S.: This is from a Rolling Stone article by Michael Hastings from last October:

As Rice scrambled to line up votes at the United Nations, Qaddafi and Saif, his son and heir apparent, didn't believe that NATO would actually intervene. Why would the West move to overthrow him after they had reintegrated Libya into the international community? "Qaddafi was genuinely surprised," says Dirk Vandewalle, an expert on Libya...

Once the bombing started, Qaddafi and his sons felt betrayed. "We gave up our nukes and they screwed us," Saif told his dwindling circle of friends.

And here's how the world looks from North Korea:

[UK Ambassador to North Korea] Peter Hughes said senior officials there had told him that "if Colonel Kadhafi had not given up his nuclear weapons, then Nato would not have attacked his country"...

"You have to look behind that to find out what it means. It basically means in real terms that there would have to be total denuclearisation of the world before they will give up their nuclear weapons."

When you add this to our invasion of Iraq, you've pretty much guaranteed no one on earth will disarm for the next 100 years.

—Jon Schwarz

Posted at March 2, 2012 01:04 PM

Mr Schwarz, you are correct.

Posted by: otto at March 2, 2012 04:16 PM

Funny how all of a sudden the war that isn't going to become a precedent is a precedent. I guess Clinton's words have fallen into the sand.

Posted by: LT at March 2, 2012 04:50 PM

Did you see the recent video clip of Obama responding to a heckler? He says to a woman yelling not to attack Iran that "...You're jumping the gun." So, is this knucklehead I voted for going to start a war with Iran?

Posted by: CayVoo at March 2, 2012 07:15 PM

The video link:

I share that heckler's concerns and Obama was supercilious and dismissive. So sad.

Posted by: CayVoo at March 2, 2012 07:20 PM

I wish she had a follow up where she could have told him that HE doesn't have the authority to "announce a war," in our country, according to our Constitution, only COngress can declare war. But we know he doesn't give a damn about that from what he has done to us already: video: ‪Obama Violated US Constitution, Libya War is Abuse of Power & Betrayal of People's Trust‬

I wish people could get it into the public dialog that Obama has no right to be our President. He violated his oath and violated the most important part of our Constitution. The BS Republicans and Democrats act like Obama has a right to continue as our president.

Posted by: Tom Murphy at March 2, 2012 07:36 PM

Libya would have stayed in the international community, just that the Civil Rebellion gave others an EXCUSE to intervene. Of course at the heart of all this is oil (which is why Bashar Assad still sticks around)...not disarming or not. The young Libyans who wanna see their beaches turned into Club Meds on the other hand, will get their wish...let them pay the price later.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at March 2, 2012 08:02 PM

I figured WE'd be bombing Pakistan by now, that Iran would be McCain's target of choice. Either way U&I didn't get rid of GITMO (power to the people) yet. In the land of war criminals one should expect wars and warcrimes. Hey, AT LEAST WE're not as bad a Syria.(maybe???)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 2, 2012 09:01 PM

Usually I'm a big fan of interpreting apparent idiocy as idiocy, but I can't help thinking back to your recent post about Ken Pollack and his interest in ginning up excuses for war. That's idiotic too, but if the president were provocatively trying to embed the idea that Iran is headed the way of Libya if they don't go for nukes, well, then, it's a different, more deliberate sort of idiocy than accidentally embedding the idea.

Posted by: Weldon Berger at March 2, 2012 09:08 PM

if the president were provocatively trying to embed the idea that Iran is headed the way of Libya if they don't go for nukes, well, then, it's a different, more deliberate sort of idiocy than accidentally embedding the idea.

You know, I considered that, but I think that would be a weird kabuki bank shot that I don't think these people generally engage in. I believe it's just as it appears to be on the surface.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at March 2, 2012 09:18 PM

Its a done deal. They gots OIL and no nukes. Just like Iraq, gots oil and NO WMD's. NOBODY here will lift a hand to stop it. Just like before, ALL-O-CONGRESS will stand up and cheer while Tehran is lit up like Baghdad on a Saturday night.

Third Party, Folks.

The other two are owned by big oil and tbtf bankers.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 2, 2012 10:08 PM

That would be my take as well, Jon, but given that the entire first term has been a game of 13th dimensional chess setting the GOP up for a socialist revolution after the election, I thought it worth mentioning.

I am struck now, rereading your excerpt, by the president's statement that "the only way, historically, that a country has ultimately decided not to get nuclear weapons without constant military intervention has been when they themselves take [nuclear weapons] off the table."

Well, um ... duh?

Posted by: Weldon Berger at March 2, 2012 10:48 PM

No Jon, Weldon's right. Obama's trying to reassure the Zionists that he's for regime change. He's not trying to reassure the Iranians that they can avoid the knife up their backside.

Earlier this year, the Washington Post quoted a "senior intelligence official" saying that the goal of sanctions is regime collapse. The official was definitely off-message, but it's clear that's the policy.

Obama doesn't want to make it too explicit, but telling the Iranians that they can imitate Gaddafi sends the right signal to all parties.

Posted by: Carl at March 3, 2012 05:30 AM

very astute

Posted by: N E at March 3, 2012 07:50 AM

Anybody remember when we were mocking John McCain for singing, "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran"?

Yeah, pretty much not. It's OK if you're a Democrat.

Posted by: tom allen at March 3, 2012 10:12 AM

Goldberg is just the interviewer Obama deserves.

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at March 3, 2012 10:12 AM
"it is important for us to see if we can solve this thing permanently, as opposed to temporarily"

Yes, that's what we need: a final solution to the Iranian question.

Posted by: Duncan at March 3, 2012 10:29 AM

Well said indeed!

Posted by: Dredd at March 3, 2012 12:35 PM

Interesting piece, but it's worth remembering that Libya never had nuclear weapons. They had got some plans from Pakistan and were fooling around with technology, but they had no nuclear material, no enrichment plants and no capacity to build any.

The NATO invasion of Libya was essentially an opportunistic distraction from the economic crisis, and a headline-winner for the Anglo-American Mafia who had hated Qaddhaffi since he kicked out their pet King.

Posted by: The Creator at March 5, 2012 01:43 AM

Glad someone else picked up on the Libyan comment. I reread that same paragraph in the Goldberg interview at least 10 times in disbelief the other day. I was sure I must've misunderstood the suggestion. It is, without a doubt, the strangest thing I've heard Obama say.

Posted by: michael at March 8, 2012 09:06 AM

Well, after all Halliburton, under Dick Cheney, ILLEGALLY SOLD Qaddaffi 3-6 neutron pulse generators, suitable as detonators, back in the early 90's. So WE know he had bomb parts because Halliburton sold them to him. (The fine for this CRIME was $75,000,000-Obviously it was JUST a misdemeanor)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 8, 2012 12:16 PM

C'mon, it's more complicated than that. Libya gave up its nuclear program years ago, long before it went to war against its own restive population. When that happened last year the choice facing the US & the EU was to support the brutal suppression of a popular revolt (by standing aside), or weigh in on the side of the revolt. Qaddafi giving up nuclear aspirations hardly entitles him to a pass on dictatorial brutality. Or does it?

Obama was emphasizing the value of diplomacy as opposed to military force in persuading a state to refrain from a nuclear weapons program. I believe and fervently hope that he will be less prone to engage in preemptive war than was his predecessor; the uniform opposition of the senior active & retired military leadership ought to count for something. Will there be similarly cool heads in Israel? We can only pray.

Posted by: Ralph Hitchens at March 9, 2012 11:19 AM