Joe's Scratchpad

Odds & Ends and Random Thoughts

Jul 23

Our ‘One-Sided’ Middle East Policy Explained

"Historians will one day look back and ask how U.S. Middle East policy could be so ineffectual and so at odds with its professed values — not to mention its strategic interests. The answer lies in the basic nature of the American political system, which permits well-organized and well-funded special interest groups to wield significant power on Capitol Hill and in the White House. In this case, the result is a policy that is bad for all concerned: for the Palestinians most of all, but also for the U.S. and Israel as well. Until the lobby’s clout is weakened or politicians grow stiffer spines, Americans looking for better outcomes in the Middle East had better get used to disappointment and prepared for more trouble."

Read it all:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-m-walt/aipac-americas-israel-policy_b_5607883.html


Jul 22
Me and the guys took a break from our normal monthly lunch routine last night, and instead attended Blue Monday Blues Nite at Westminister Presbyterian and watched Shirleta put on a helluva show. She had the crowd rocking all night, despite the fact that the air conditioner went out and the place was being cooled by big fans. But, for blues lovers in the house last night, that steamy scene just seemed to add to the ‘down-home’ authenticity of the evening.
After the show we guys walked around the corner to Station 4 Restaurant and had a great meal. Recommended!
For you blues lovers out there who might be interested in attending Blue Monday, here’s the schedule thru September:
http://westminsterdc.org/blues_schedule.htm
And here the link to Station 4:
http://www.station4dc.com
Click photo to enlarge.
–  Joe

Me and the guys took a break from our normal monthly lunch routine last night, and instead attended Blue Monday Blues Nite at Westminister Presbyterian and watched Shirleta put on a helluva show. She had the crowd rocking all night, despite the fact that the air conditioner went out and the place was being cooled by big fans. But, for blues lovers in the house last night, that steamy scene just seemed to add to the ‘down-home’ authenticity of the evening.

After the show we guys walked around the corner to Station 4 Restaurant and had a great meal. Recommended!

For you blues lovers out there who might be interested in attending Blue Monday, here’s the schedule thru September:

http://westminsterdc.org/blues_schedule.htm

And here the link to Station 4:

http://www.station4dc.com

Click photo to enlarge.

–  Joe



Jul 20

Jul 19

Real Music…



Jul 18

Obama Was Right Again!

The shoot-down of that Malaysian commercial airliner brings to mind something that nobody – especially Republicans – seem to be talking about. That is the danger of letting anti-aircraft missiles fall into the hands of insurgent forces, including those who we might support in other ways. 

Remember that not long ago Republicans, led by John McCain, were beating up on President Obama for not rushing to supply sophistocated weaponry – including anti-aircraft missiles – to the rebels fighting Assad’s Syrian army? They claimed that the moderate rebel forces could be trusted to use those weapons to overthrow the Assad regime and deal a blow to Iran, as well. Yeah, right!

Well, in recent weeks those supposed ‘moderate rebels’ have been out-gunned and pushed aside by more extremist rebels, including ones associated with Al-Qaeda and other anti-American terrorist groups like ISIS now threatening Iraq. In other words, the rebellion against Assad has now been taken over by groups that would be a greater threat to the US than Syria under Assad could ever be.

What I’m saying is simply this: had Obama provided anti-aircraft missiles to the ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels as the GOP urged, those missiles would now be in the hands of folks who would love nothing better than shooting down commercial airliners from the US and other western countries. 

So, how long will it take for some Republican to admit that Obama was right in withholding sophisticated weaponry – including missiles – from rebel forces fighting in Syria? Well, I wouldn’t hold my breathe if I were you. Unfortunately, this is just another example of the kind of real achievements that Obama will have to wait for history to give him credit for.

–  Joe



Ha!


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