Robert M. Nelson: New York Times reporter James Risen reports that between 2003 and 2004 about $13 billion in $100 bills was flown to the Iraq war zone from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The volume of that cash pile was so huge that it filled the cargo holds of many C-17 Air Force planes on their way to Baghdad.
Larry Wines: Just watch and read and listen. The list of irresponsible perps will grow and grow and grow. Because nobody is responsible.
Tom Degan: On Saturday, December 30, 2006, Saddam Hussein was hanged for his crimes against humanity. On Tuesday, April 2, 2013, George Walker Bush, Richard Bruce Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld live in comfortable retirement. Isn’t life strange?
Carolyn Eisenberg: While Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld make an appealing group of villains, embodying as they do the Deadly Sins of Sloth, Wrath and Pride, responsibility for the Iraq War is not limited to them.
Robert Letcher – The right to keep and bear arms versus the right of five and six-year olds to live was probably not in the minds of the Framers of the Constitution
David Love: The charisma, charm and brilliance of a Condoleezza Rice could help offset Romney’s negative image as a rich, dull, white bread kind of guy.
Vijay Prashad: Having Iraq exercise its sovereignty is not sufficient to justify the war in the first place. Eight years after the war, no justifications remain. It was a dumb war, and it remains so.
Lydia Howell: Now is the time for Americans to re-set our moral compass and demand an end to and accountability for torture of prisoners in the “war on terrorism” — at Guantanamo or at the remaining “black sites” in allied countries.
Bob Letcher: In the face of last year’s healthcare reform efforts, opponents screamed the inherently violent and hardly constructive “Kill the bill”; now, it’s opponents of reducing collective bargaining rights for public employees who are screaming the still inherently violent and hardly constructive “Kill the bill”.
Joseph Palermo: After nine years of war the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan lacks support at home and is widely recognized as a drain on the domestic economy in a time of severe economic contraction. The billions of dollars in U.S. economic assistance to the Hamid Karzai government has created an unsustainable class of Afghans who are dependent upon the American largesse and military presence that would be impossible to sustain by local taxes. It is a puppet government that wouldn’t last a day without American arms and money.
The question is whether today’s conservative Republicans understand that they cannot save their party by destroying it. Too many on the right have tried to conciliate a base that craves ideological purity. But ideological purity does not lead to victory. It leads to irrelevance.
Some idea of Pentagon dominance over diplomatic approaches may be gleaned from the Pentagon’s $664 billion annual budget compared with State’s $52 billion. “Washington employs more military band members than it does foreign service officers.”