Showing posts from June 18, 2009

On Iran, etc. Thank God Obama favors the 'old' Mideast By Leon T. Hadar Commentary by Friday, June 19, 2009 State Condoleezza Rice travelled to Lebanon in an effort to bring an end to the war raging there between Israel and Hizbullah. At the time, she tried to market to reporters in Washington a somewhat odd spin on the violence taking place, not only in Lebanon but also in Iraq and Israel and Palestine. "What we're seeing here is, in a sense, the growing - the birth pangs of a new Middle East, and whatever we do, we have to be certain that we're pushing forward to the new Middle East, not going back to the old Middle East," Rice explained. Indeed, the Bush administration's Freedom Agenda was challenging the status quo in the "old" Middle East by using US military and diplomatic power to promote democracy in Iraq (by ousting Saddam Hussein and holding free elections),

Spending like there is no tomorrow

Business Times - 19 Jun 2009 Spending like there is no tomorrow It seems in Washington's new financial universe, a trillion here and a trillion there are nothing more than small change By LEON HADAR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT MANY years ago one of America's elder statesmen, the late Everett Dirksen, a Republican Senator from Illinois who had spoken often and passionately about the debt ceiling, federal waste and the growth of government, was reported to have made the following observation about US government spending: 'A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money.' It is not difficult to imagine Mr Dirksen turning over again and again in his grave these days after finding out that Washington has approved about US$13 trillion worth of bailouts over the last year; that the US deficit this year will run nearly US$2 trillion (as a result of financial bailouts and the stimulus package); and that the current national debt exceeds US$11 trill