Comments: Spain Begins Investigation Of Obama For Crimes Against Humanity

And so the bombing continues. (I Found My Thrill On Artillary Hill)

Posted by Mike Meyer at January 30, 2009 12:56 PM

OT -

Samantha Power is back!

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/thefield/welcome-back-power-and-her-human-rights

Gevalt.

Posted by scats at January 30, 2009 12:59 PM

What is it with Spanish judges and their willingness to use their power as if they were actual human beings? What's in the water over there? Does anybody know the actual answer to this question? Does it have to do with how recent their memories of Franco are?

Posted by Aaron Datesman at January 30, 2009 01:40 PM

I wish they had gotten Pinochet.

Posted by Mike Meyer at January 30, 2009 01:48 PM

And partly it is, as you surmise, a culture that understands the importance of these things more viscerally.

Nothing like a little fascism to remind you of the need for the rule of law...

Posted by woody at January 30, 2009 02:20 PM

I think I cannot be the only person to have surmised (great word) that one very good reason for the Chimp's NOT granting pardons to the officials in his regime most likely to undergo legal scrutiny --Rove, Meirs, Gonzales, even Libby--is that if they were pardoned, they would lose the protection of the Fifth Amendment.

Posted by woody at January 30, 2009 02:38 PM

"They will have to coordinate very, very closely with the State Department's specialists whenever they leave America. This is something they cannot take lightly." Larry Wilkerson, who served as former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff, has warned that former Bush officials like Gonzales, Yoo, and Addington "should never travel outside the US, except perhaps to Saudi Arabia and Israel."

Yes, exactly—even if Bush, Obama, or their co-conspirators aren't convicted for their crimes, they'll still have to spend their lives looking over their shoulders, and that's something they take very seriously. I focus a lot of attention on legal sanctions against these people because those kinds of sanctions are available and in active use right now, they pose a genuine threat, and they're only getting stronger.

Great article, Jon. If you're able to share the original non-whittled version I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to see it.

Posted by John Caruso at January 30, 2009 02:40 PM

Free advise: if these Spanish judges keep insisting on doing these things, their PM should go to Pakistan and buy him some nukes. Better safe than sorry.

Posted by abb1 at January 30, 2009 03:11 PM

"I wish they had gotten Pinochet.
Posted by Mike Meyer"

Oh, god, yes. But if they can get the Israeli "officials," that will be something.

Posted by catherine at January 30, 2009 03:13 PM

Yes, Jon, if you're able/willing to share the parts of your article trimmed out, I'd also be interested.

The companion piece by Karen Greenberg, in contrast, is appalling. It could easily have appeared in the Washington Post; in the freaking Style section, even. What pure distilled Wisdom of the Village. Karen Greenberg is better than that.

Posted by Nell at January 30, 2009 07:40 PM

Oh, god, yes. But if they can get the Israeli "officials," that will be something.

Purely on the basis of units of justice per number of deaths, it would actually be even better.

Posted by NomadUK at January 31, 2009 04:39 AM

You know, the rest of my family voted for Obama. I did not, and they couldn't understand why. I kept telling them he was bad on gay rights and bad on Afghanistan and bad on Israel and so forth. There was little reason to think that he would do anything I would like on those issues, and why the hell would I vote for somebody who is going to act against my interests?

And they'd say that I should be pragmatic, and that I should think whether McCain or Obama was more likely to advance my interests in those areas. And I'd say that I thought they'd both be awful in those areas.

So, my point is, I really, really, really, really wish Obama wasn't in such a huge hurry to prove me right.

Posted by Christopher at January 31, 2009 08:23 AM

"Child-killing President Obama"

You guys really are hilarious. I can't wait to read Our Kampf!

Posted by Ragout at January 31, 2009 08:54 AM

The US has every right to act in self-defense against terrorists.

Yes, and apparently that "right" extends to firing missiles into other countries we have not declared war on, and killing people who are not terrorists.

Posted by SteveB at January 31, 2009 10:07 AM

Oh, and I really like Ragout's demonstration of the pervasive liberal fear that those of us to their left will do something naughty that discredits their reasonable efforts.

Like the reason that "legitimate accusations of war crimes against the Bush administration" aren't being acted upon is because we're making them seem "ridiculous." Remind me: who's living in the White House these days?

Posted by SteveB at January 31, 2009 10:13 AM

The US has every right to act in self-defense against terrorists.

Yeah, seriously, Ragout, would you care to elaborate on this? Usually you don't sound like a complete idiot, what happened?

Posted by abb1 at January 31, 2009 10:45 AM

C'mon, SteveB, do you think you're going to win anyone to your side if you're negative and combative?

Posted by Duncan at January 31, 2009 11:04 AM

By the way, Jon, ever since the Vietnam era (which is when I began paying attention to these kinds of issues) I've heard defenders of US military interventions and incursions answer critics of "killing for one's country" by saying that Our Soldiers' mission is to die for their country, not kill for it.

So, the United States teaches its children to be martyrs.

Posted by Duncan at January 31, 2009 11:26 AM

John, well maybe not John, but someone reading this as if they were John, or someone who thinks like John, or anyway someone whose grasp of the current global geopolitical dynamic is like John's, which is to say analogous to the mighty Platte River in some key ways, which grasp overall seems like pretty clear thinking generally overall although maybe not quite exactly what of a sceptical enough depth cynical though it may be, not quite suspicious enough, paranoid enough, anyway John or surrogate John, step back from the screen for a second, take a real close look at Obama, then look back over your shoulder at GWBush.
Can you see that? They balance each other.
They both fill almost exactly the same amount of space, they both have almost exactly the same amount of physical attractiveness, they both have an appeal to a base that while being diametrically opposite is about precisely exactly the same in extent and potential force. One glib the other goofy, sure, but that's the point, Bush's perceived base wants goofy, Obama's wants urbane articulate.
Kanye West and Toby Keith are so antithetical it's difficult for the rubes to see how symmetrical they are. But the con works on the mark's readiness to believe, the conviction of the mark that what's happening isn't beyond comprehension, by the mark.
Obama, the anti-Bush. Just what you asked for. And he hasn't become anything, his image is shifting around is all.
And that was all that was necessary to turn all that growing disaffection back into itself, and dissipate it. People in America were getting restless, concern turning to near-active rejection and wtf, then bang Obama, and bang the economy, and now lots of potential social revolutionaries are sweating the monthly food budget instead. But no plan, no intentionality behind it, just happenstance and opportunism, culminating in this, for the moment.
Meanwhile the things Bush did, the things that were done around him and through him let alone by him remain done, but the government, the face of government, is now visibly catharticly purged of his nefarious presence, turned into its mirror-surface opposite.
Bush is gone and the bells are ringing, but Iraq is still broken in the dust, the Patriot Act still hovers over America like haze in the sky over Mordor, etc.
And now Afghanistan is what, getting done to it whatever it is you call grinding human flesh into paste between giant molars prior to swallowing and digestion, the overt mastication of skinny brown people who don't speak English and wear funny clothes, who now appear on the information radar as little scurrying rodent-like blips, or sky-borne wedding guests.
But there's no consistency here, so it's not a conspiracy, it's an...accident!
Yah because it's all about those venal independent political contractors motivated solely by personal greed see, and they all come together see just because of you know affinity and stuff, and there's no like plan or anything, just gimme gimme gimme gimme all day long, all the way down, and goodbye Pashtuns.

Posted by roy belmont at January 31, 2009 01:56 PM

For Jonathan Schwarz - Mother Jones, which I have respected for years as doing honest journalism, edited your piece down to almost nothing??? Could you explain a bit, I find this very disturbing!!

Posted by Marshall Carter-Tripp at January 31, 2009 02:54 PM

Marshall, your concern makes my writerly heart glad. It really didn't have anything to do with content -- it just turned out they'd assigned another piece that covered similar territory. Of course, I thought I was saying enough different stuff that my piece and that one didn't overlap, but I understand why they chopped it down.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at January 31, 2009 03:25 PM

roy belmont: YOU've seemed to have confused a NATIONAL culture of GREED AND STUPIDITY as some sort of conspiracy. I would suggest that should one see some group of people doing the opposite of the actions YOU have mentioned, THAT, by definition would be a conspiracy. Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton et.al. do what WE want, NOT what WE say WE want. They do what WE PAY them to do.

Posted by Mike Meyer at January 31, 2009 04:42 PM

So Jonathan, could you please post the original unwhittled version - unless it would get you in trouble for violating some copyright requirement. I think I speak for the majority here.

Posted by empty at January 31, 2009 08:32 PM

Oh, Joh, that makes Karen Greenberg's piece even more deplorable. For someone who spent as much time as she has talking to former prisoners, she certainly is complacent about the lack of accountability, never mind restitution.

Posted by Nell at February 1, 2009 07:18 AM

Duncan:

Sorry to reply here rather than in the thread where we started this discussion, but comments have closed there.

Maybe you believe that, by saying that Obama voters and evangelists share responsibility for the crimes he commits, I therefore believe that it would be okay to take those people out and shoot them, or bomb the cities in which they live, or starve them as Israel has starved Gaza. If so, you're mistaken.

No, that's what I figured. You're for collective responsiblity (for Hamas voters and Obama voters) but not for collective punishment.

What sort of concept of responsibility do you have, I wonder?

Thanks for asking. I don't think there's a country in this world where voters, or citizens in general, have sufficient control over their government that they can be assigned responsibility for that government's actions.

I think this is especially the case in so-called "democracies", where voters are basically presented with a choice between 1) one mish-mash of policies, some of which they agree with and others which they may disagree with, and 2) another mish-mash, fewer of which they agree with and more of which they disagree with. Oh, and also the option of voting for a candidate which you may totally agree with, but who can't get elected.

In other words, don't put me in the drivers seat of a car where the gas pedal is stuck in the "full on" position, the brakes have been disabled, and the steering wheel is connected to the front wheels via rubber bands, and then hold me responsible for the people I hit.

Posted by SteveB at February 1, 2009 10:06 AM

Oh, and also the option of voting for a candidate which you may totally agree with, but who can't get elected.

Ri-ight. And that's because ... because all the other people who supposedly actually totally agree with that candidate's positions choose to vote not for him but for one of the purveyors of the aforementioned mish-mash.

And those people are not to be held responsible for their choice because ... No, see, this is where I always lose it. Why is that again?

Posted by NomadUK at February 1, 2009 11:53 AM

Well, that's because winner-takes-all electoral system works like that. In a system with proportional representation you vote for the party you agree with 100%. In a winner-takes-all system you vote for the lesser evil.

Posted by abb1 at February 1, 2009 12:16 PM

Ri-ight. And that's because ... because all the other people who supposedly actually totally agree with that candidate's positions choose to vote not for him but for one of the purveyors of the aforementioned mish-mash.

Maybe you're assuming that all the people who agree with you, if added together, would constitute a majority of voters?

But if you're bound and determined to blame someone, go right ahead. It's just that I think assigning individual blame is a distraction from the systemic issues abb1 is pointing to in the comment right after yours.

Posted by SteveB at February 1, 2009 01:27 PM

Maybe you're assuming that all the people who agree with you, if added together, would constitute a majority of voters?

No, I'm assuming that all of the people who complain that those other guys can't get elected actually voted for those other guys, those other guys might actually get elected.

Maybe not the first time. Maybe not the second. But maybe eventually.

And even if they didn't, maybe the ones who did get elected might actually pay attention to all those people who voted for the guys who didn't get elected, because the ones who did get elected would know that those voters might actually go somewhere else otherwise, instead of slavishly and hopelessly voting for the same group of shits time after time after time.

You don't have to preach to me about the systemic issues. But in the absence of any credible proof that the electorate will ever vote for anyone other than the scum who run the system as it currently stands, what on earth would motivate them to change it?

Posted by NomadUK at February 1, 2009 04:47 PM

Won't work. In the winner-takes-all scenario you'll probably have two major parties splitting the vote 50-50. If you vote for a minor party on one side, all you're doing is giving the advantage to the other side. In fact, the two big parties often help minor parties on the other side in order to slit the vote. Republicans might help the Greens, for example. Simple game.

Posted by abb1 at February 1, 2009 06:07 PM

Sorry I accidentally restarted the whole Nader vs. Gore thing. That really wasn't my intention.

Posted by SteveB at February 1, 2009 06:27 PM

Simple game

It only works if people play it. That's my point. It's not some kind of fundamental law of nature; it's because people allow themselves to be manipulated, or fundamentally do not or will not understand that they have an alternative.

Sorry I accidentally restarted the whole Nader vs. Gore thing.

Yes, it's clearly hopeless. I really don't know why I keep bothering. I'll say no more on the subject.

Posted by NomadUK at February 2, 2009 06:50 AM