Quote Of The Day: The Blind Leading The Naked

by matttbastard

Iran’s involvement in Lebanon is destabilizing, to be sure. An international confrontation with Tehran would be serious indeed, and Hezbollah’s political power within Lebanon is cause for concern. But the [Bush] administration has allowed the focus on Iran and Hezbollah to result in policy that is dangerously blind to other dynamics at play.In the context of the current political stalemate, the administration cannot afford to view the possible selection of a consensus candidate acceptable to Hezbollah as a greater danger than the failure to select anyone at all. And, beyond this week’s crisis, the focus on Hezbollah and Iran has distracted from the rise of Al Qaeda-inspired Sunni radical groups in Lebanon — groups that represent a far greater strategic threat to the U.S. and its allies.

These groups don’t have the popular support in Lebanon that Hezbollah boasts. But that also means they have no “red lines” of violence they will not cross. And, while Hezbollah wants to play an expanded political role in the Lebanese state, the Sunni extremist groups would like nothing more than to see the collapse of the state into anarchy and civil war – truly a worst-case scenario both for Lebanon’s fragile democracy and for regional security.

– Andrew Exum and Stephen McInerney, Beirut Is Not Tehran

(h/t abu muqawama)

More on Lebanon’s burgeoning political crisis from Milton Viorst and Robert Fisk, who penned a sobering report last month that detailed the recent influx of weaponry into the increasingly unstable region, seemingly on the verge once again of civil war.

Related: Blake Hounshell, referencing Exum and McIerney’s op-ed, is blunt–and expansive–in his condemnation of “a mistaken U.S. approach to foreign policy that dates back decades and across administrations of both parties”:

Here’s how it works: The United States says it supports democracy, but ends up backing pro-Western leaders when push comes to shove. Take the case of Pervez Musharraf, whom U.S. President George W. Bush described Tuesday as “somebody who believes in democracy” despite the fact that the Pakistani leader has suspended the Constitution, thrown many of his opponents in jail, and gone after independent media outlets. Or consider the Palestinian territories, where the White House called for elections and then blanched when the distasteful Hamas won them fair and square. Is it any wonder that U.S. rhetoric on democracy isn’t taken seriously?

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Hump Day Music Spotlight: La Na Na FREAKIN’ Na!

by matttbastard

This song is catchier than the Norwalk virus and a far more pleasant experience, to boot.

Attack in BlackYoung Leaves (Dine Alone)

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Mein Stock in Himmel!

by matttbastard

Holy humpin’ Himmler, Dave @ The Beav called out Stockboy, Godwin be damned:

This is what Day said.

One person was killed who didn’t have to be killed

Does that mean that Day believes there are those who should be killed? It is not acceptable that he misspoke. He is a minister of the Crown: equivalent to the vice-president of a major global corporation. Every word he speaks means something. And, it’s right there, he believes there are people who should be killed.

Explain yourself, minister.

Those words come right from the pages of Aufbau einer Nation, written in 1934.

Explain yourself, Mr. Day, or accept that sometime in the next 72 hours I will, without apology, hang you up there with one of the worst human beings of the 20th Century.

Hey now, let’s not be too hard on ol’ Stock. We should be grateful that he took off his wetsuit before shaking us up with his typically asinine blatherings–and without any props to further illustrate the utterly specious (if not passively eliminationist) sentiments to boot! Credit where credit is due, my partisan brethren (yes, yes, the soft bigotry of low expectations, etc).

UpdateMatt Guerin:

Every time Day opens his mouth and the super ‘Public Safety Minister’ appears below him on the news or in Parliament, a chill goes down my spine. I’ll never forget how much of a wacko leader he turned out to be. I don’t think most moderate Canadians will forget that either. The fact Day continues to hold such power in the Harper government scares the crap out of me.

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