Here are some of the sources which David Gregory cited today during Meet the Press:
The question is how much leverage does the U.S. really have? Charles Krauthammer, critical of the approach, saying . . . "This feel-good posturing is worse than useless, because all the time spent achieving gestures is precious time granted Iran to finish its race to acquire the bomb." Is this a cat and mouse game?
And there on Twitter is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and he posts this. He says, "President Obama fails to get the Olympics while unemployment goes to 9.8% Iran continues nuclear program."
But first, news about Iran in this morning's newspapers. The New York Times reports they may be closer now to producing a nuclear weapon than originally thought.
Those are the Liberal Media's sources: Charles Krauthammer's column on Iran, Newt Gingrich's Twitter feed, and the latest flagrantly fear-mongering, irresponsible, Saddam's-shopping-for-yellowcake piece from The New York Times' new Judy Miller/Michael Gordon team, causing that paper to reprise its 2002 role in leading the beating of war drums (Gregory also quoted from Peggy Noonan, Tom Friedman and John McCain). And on every topic, Gregory's questions to Obama aide Susan Rice were grounded -- as Gregory's questions typically are -- in neoconservative dogma and sounded like they were lifted from the pages of The Weekly Standard (Afghanistan: "why wouldn't the president immediately grant the request of his commanders to fully resource this war of necessity"?; Iran: "what is the deadline for Iran to either put up, to negotiate away its nuclear potential or face consequences?" U.N.: "Recently during the U.N. General Assembly Meeting in New York, Americans saw this kind of parade of anti-Americanism. . . . You once said that the U.N. is imperfect but it is also indispensable. When you look at that showing, what is the indispensable part?"). To summarize: escalate in Afghanistan; bomb Iran; and pull out of the U.N.
Reviewing the Sunday news shows and newspapers creates the most intense cognitive dissonance: a nation crippled by staggering debt, exploding unemployment, an ever-expanding rich-poor gap, and dependence on foreign government financing can't stop debating how much more resources we should devote to our various military occupations, which countries we should bomb next, which parts of the world we should bring into compliance with our dictates using threats of military force. It's like listening to an individual about to declare personal bankruptcy talking about all the new houses and jewels he plans on buying next week and all the extravagant trips he's planning, in between lamenting how important it is that he stop spending so much. That would sound insane. And that's exactly how our political discourse sounds.
* * * * *
On an unrelated note: this is an obviously moving, contemporaneous account by an 18-year-old who, just yesterday, with the vigorous support of commenters on Daily Kos, told his Christian conservative parents that he is gay. It's highly worth reading, as it illustrates why the Right is losing, and is destined to lose, its miserable "culture war."
And on a related note, the discussion I had earlier this week on Laura Flanders' GRITtv with Jeremy Scahill regarding the establishment and independent media can be viewed below [
and I will, I believe, once again be on Dylan Ratigan's MSNBC program tomorrow morning at some point discussing Iran, with an attempt to incorporate all of the helpful technical suggestions made by commenters here last week (canceled due to topic change)]:
UPDATE: Obama's National Security Adviser, retired Marine Gen. James Jones, denies The New York Times' report that Iran's nuclear program is more advanced than previously believed; stands by the 2007 NIE conclusion that Iran ceased work on a nuclear weapons program back in 2003; and affirms that, as part of the ongoing negotiations, "Iran has taken positive steps," steps he deems "very significant." There are certainly some factions inside the U.S. Government eager for a confrontation with Iran (the ones feeding David Sanger and William Broad their NYT script), but there are also significant figures in the administration who realize what a disaster such a confrontation would be for the U.S.