Saudis Infuriated by US/Iran Rapproachment – from MEMRI


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s November 3, 2013 visit to Saudi Arabia will take place amidst considerable tension between the two countries. The Arab Spring has given rise to more than a few disagreements between the two countries over the policy of the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama vis-à-vis the crises in the Middle East. These disagreements, already severe due to the countries’ opposite policies on several issues – specifically the ouster of former president Muhammad Mursi by Defense Minister Gen. ‘Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi in Egypt, as well as the suppression of opposition protests in Bahrain – were further exacerbated by the Obama administration’s handling of the Syria crisis and by the administration’s new openness towards Iran.

Saudi Arabia, which advocates the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and even calls for military intervention to bring this about, was taken aback by the agreement signed by Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons. The Saudis contend that the elimination of these weapons, which have killed over 1,000 people, will not save the Syrian people from the tyranny and violence of the a regime that has already caused the deaths of over 100,000 Syrians with conventional weapons. In fact, Saudi Arabia regards the Kerry-Lavrov agreement both as an American capitulation to Russia and as a victory for Assad and his ally, Iran. The kingdom also protested the fact that while Russian President Valdimir Putin coordinated with his allies before presenting the Russian compromise proposal that led to the agreement, the Obama administration agreed to the proposal without consulting Saudi Arabia or its other allies. Moreover, some argued that the agreement was nothing more than an indirect deal between the U.S. and Iran, elevating the latter’s status in the region. Saudi Arabia also expressed its displeasure with the U.S. on the international stage by cancelling an October 1, 2013 speech by its representative in the Security Council, and by rejecting, on October 18, the offer of non-permanent membership in the Security Council.

The Saudi kingdom’s anger over the U.S. policy and its suspicions regarding the Obama administration’s integrity intensified even further in light of the new U.S. openness towards the Iranian regime. The Saudi press voiced harsh criticism of this development, and articles expressed suspicion and apprehension regarding the U.S.-Iran rapprochement. Many claimed that Iranian President Hassan Rohani’s flowery words must not be believed, and that no real change will occur in Iran as long as it is ruled by extremist forces led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Numerous columnists warned that the U.S. might make dangerously substantial concessions to Iran at the expense of the Gulf states’ national security. Amid the flood of articles in this vein, there were also a few that attempted to alleviate the fears, claiming that the U.S.-Iran relations would not become strategic relations that could threaten the interests of the Gulf states.

This report reviews the tension between Saudi Arabia and the U.S., as reflected in the Saudi media discourse.
The Kerry-Lavrov Agreement: The U.S. Surrendered To The Russia-Iran-Syria Axis

The Kerry-Lavrov agreement, signed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on September 14, 2013 in Geneva, under which Syria must transfer its chemical weapons to internationally-sponsored oversight and destruction, sparked anger in Saudi Arabia, which today heads the anti-Syria Arab front. Under the leadership of Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, it has replaced Qatar and Turkey as the main sponsor of the Syrian National Coalition and has taken an aggressive diplomatic line, including calling for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and even for military intervention to accomplish this. As far as it is concerned, Assad’s removal could be a serious blow to Iran’s aspirations for hegemony in the region, and would also likely bring Syria back to the Arab fold.

Saudi Arabia is bitterly disappointed at the policy of the Obama administration, which is seeking to avoid a repeat of its Iraq and Afghanistan war scenarios and is instead striving for a diplomatic arrangement to resolve the Syria crisis. The Saudis, however, view the Kerry-Lavrov agreement as an American white flag to Russia, which unreservedly supports the Assad regime, and as victory for his regime and his allies that will keep him in power. The Saudis have argued that the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons, which have killed over 1,000 people, is not a solution and does nothing to rescue the Syrian people from the Assad war machine that has taken over 100,000 lives so far.

For some time now, the Saudi media have been criticizing the Obama administration’s hesitant approach to the Syria crisis as well as its handling of the crises in Egypt and Bahrain. However, it appears that since September 9, 2013, when the U.S. agreed to consider the Russian proposal that led to the signing of the Kerry-Lavrov agreement a few days later, there has been a Saudi media campaign specifically condemning this administration’s policy. Since then, the Saudi government press has published dozens of articles and stories expressing this view, particularly with regard to the Syria crisis, with headlines such as “The Gulf Stands Fast Against Assad – While Obama Muddles”; “Oh Syrians, Don’t Wait For Obama’s Compassion”; “Obama and His Free World [Stands] Behind [Syrian Foreign Minister] Walid Al-Mu’allem”; “The Russian Subterfuge – Over The Syrian Corpses”; “Saving The Syrian People – From Bashar’s Chemical Weapons Or From Obama’s Hesitation[?]”; and “Saudi Arabia And The U.S. – The Age Of Disagreement.”

In its editorial on September 15, the day after the agreement was signed, the Saudi daily Al-Yawm wrote: “It is clear that the Russians have successfully led the Americans into a trap and into a long tunnel of negotiations, talks and accusations – and apparently the Americans [for their part] also want to be fooled by Moscow again and again. Their Geneva agreement does not deviate from Washington’s [current] tradition of hesitation and of refraining from taking serious and assertive stands to stop the plan of mass destruction in Syria and to save the Syrian people from the daily surfeit of death.”

A few days later, Tariq Alhomayed, former editor of the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, wrote in a similar vein: “What the American administration is doing today is to firmly establish Obama’s image as hesitant in [his] foreign policy, particularly with regard to this region, and also to firmly establish Iran’s image as cunning…”

Along with the Saudi fear that the Kerry-Lavrov agreement will keep Assad in power, the agreement was perceived as reinforcing the pro-Iran Shi’ite camp in the region – which serves Iran’s regional hegemonic aspirations. In the Saudi view, an Assad victory will necessarily mean a victory for his ally Iran – which the Saudis say is seeking to establish a “Shi’ite crescent” in the region. This fear of the “Shi’ite crescent” is what is driving the Saudis’ aggressive support for the Syrian opposition.

In his June 15 column in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Hayat, Jamal Khashoggi, a senior journalist and former editor of the Saudi daily Al-Watan, painted a frightening picture of what the Middle East might look like if Assad and his allies were to be victorious in Syria. He said that if this happens, the “Shi’ite crescent” will become “an ambitious political axis extending from Tehran to Beirut, via Baghdad and Damascus.” Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, he said, “will realize his dream of delivering a sermon from the pulpit the Ummayad Mosque [in Damascus],” and a big ceremony will be held in the newly restored Damascus Palace “to mark the signing of a joint defense pact between the leaders of Iran, Iraq and Syria” under Khamenei’s aegis. Saudi Arabia, he said, will be concerned about the growing Iranian activity in its vicinity: it will fear for the fate of Bahrain and of Yemen. He continued, “The plans for Gulf unity will vanish, and some of the Gulf states will even begin making efforts to appease Tehran in order to preserve the little sovereignty they will have left.”

Khashoggi concluded by stating: “A nightmare, wouldn’t you say? Therefore I believe that Saudi Arabia in particular will in no way allow an Iranian victory in Syria. The Iranian presence there has been massive ever since the signing of the pact between [the late president] Hafez Al-Assad and the Islamic Revolution, immediately following the triumph [of the latter] 40 years ago. However, [while] the might of the Syrian regime [under Hafez Al-Assad] allowed a modicum of [Syrian] balance and independence, his son [Bashar], who owes a debt of gratitude to the Iranians and Hizbullah for the fact that he’s still alive and rules over even a devastated country, has become a subject of Tehran and is no [longer] an equal partner [to it]. This is the moment where the Iranian presence in Syria and Lebanon has become a clear threat to both Saudi and Turkish national security.”

The Obama Administration Is Jacking Up Iran’s Status At The Expense Of Its Own Allies

The U.S.’s acceptance of the Russian compromise proposal came as a complete surprise – and a great disappointment – to the Saudis. Articles in the Saudi media complained that while Russia had consulted with its allies prior to the move, the U.S. had not done the same with its own allies. Columnist ‘Ali Sa’d Al-Moussa wrote: “I couldn’t believe what I saw yesterday morning, [namely] the comedy of turnarounds in international politics with regard to the crisis in Syria and to its regime.” Yousuf Al-Kuwailit, editor-in-chief of the Saudi government daily Al-Riyadh, wrote that the U.S.-Russia agreement had “without a doubt” been signed “behind the backs of most of the Arab countries.”

Many writers argued that Obama’s disregard of his Arab allies reflected his administration’s declared policy of focusing on Asia and ignoring the Middle East. They said that, not only had the U.S. failed to consult with its allies, it had actually coordinated the move with its rival Iran, which used the Syrian crisis as a card to jack up its own status in the region.

Describing the insult to the Saudis, prominent Al-Hayat commentator Raghida Dergham wrote: “The Russian player is taking on the mantle of leadership and is fully coordinating with its Iranian ally in Syria. And Russia is taking the utmost care to prove the firmness and cohesiveness of its partnerships and alliances, so as to represent a model and an example opposite to the partnerships and alliances of the United States with Arab countries, characterized by its abandoning allies without warning and evading its pledges… This is why Russian President Vladimir Putin is guarding a place for Iran in any grand bargain [to resolve the Syrian crisis] that might be forthcoming. (He has even discussed the Small Bargain [to eliminate Assad’s chemical arsenal] with Iran, so as not to seem to be neglecting it).

“President Barack Obama does not do the same [as Russia] with his allies in the Middle East, with the exception of Israel. He surprises and does not discuss. He backs down without warning. This is why he will take no care to guard a place for the GCC in the Grand Bargain, because this will simply not occur to him at the strategic level. Indeed, he has in the past displayed striking behavior [towards] his Arab Gulf allies when he completely ignored the pivotal role played by Saudi Arabia in the map of the region. Barack Obama does not think in terms of axes, especially as he has resolved to turn eastwards, far from the Middle East. Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, is building a strategy to restore his country’s international influence by adopting a policy of axes, from the BRICS axis, which includes Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa, to the Axis of Defiance, which includes Russia, China, and Iran, alongside the regime in Damascus and Hizbullah.”

In an Al-Hayat article titled “Saudi Arabia and the U.S. – The Age Of Disagreement,” political commentator Khaled Al-Dakhil wrote that the U.S.-Russia agreement on Syria was in effect an agreement with Iran. He said: “Saudi Arabia is not denying the need to reach an understanding with Iran, but it thinks that such an understanding must come after a solution to the Syria crisis, not before. Such a solution will not give Tehran cards it does not have, and will also allow Syria to return to the Arab fold and to emerge from its crisis. The Obama administration’s policy comes as no surprise, and is in keeping with the [administration’s] statements vis-à-vis the Middle East. [Indeed], along with its desire for dialogue with Iran, this administration is focusing on Asia.”

Saudi Arabia protested Iran’s involvement in resolving the Syrian crisis, because it sees Iran, along with Hizbullah, as accomplices in Assad’s crimes and as part of the problem in Syria – and therefore considers it unfit to be part of its solution. Some writers also argued that the idea of involving Iran in solving the Syrian problem is not new, but came in late August, during a visit to Iran by U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. They said that Feltman’s Iran visit, which focused on regional issues such as Syria, Egypt, and Palestine, was more of a visit by a U.S. diplomat than one by a U.N. official, and that it had a role in paving the way for the Iran-U.S. rapprochement.

Even after the signing of the Kerry-Lavrov agreement, Saudi Arabia continues to oppose any Iranian involvement in resolving the Syrian crisis. As part of this, it rejects Iran’s participation in the Geneva II Middle East Peace Conference on Syria, an idea that is being championed by U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi. Addressing the possibility that Iran could be involved in the Geneva II talks, Saudi Ambassador to the U.N. ‘Abdallah Al-Mu’allami told the daily Al-Hayat: “Iran’s support for the regime and for the [regime’s] armed forces prevents it from taking an active role in creating peace and a new Syria.” This Saudi pressure on the international community using the card of its influence with the Syrian National Coalition, which the Saudis support, has brought about accusations that Saudi Arabia is behind this coalition’s refusal to participate in the Geneva II conference.

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The purge of our military command structure continues…

This strange chain of firings from the Military is so bizarre and so unheard of that even Dianne Sawyer of ABC news reached out to cover it when the 9th, yes 9th, Military Commanding Officer was relieved of duty in less than a year. This doesn’t include the long list last year, this is just the nine individuals this year alone.

General Carter Hamm, United States Army-Served as head of the United States African Command. Was in charge of the US African command during the fateful night of September 11, 2012 when the lives of four American citizens was taken in the Embassy in Benghazi . Hamm was extremely critical of our Commander and Chief and stated he lied about not having reinforcements in the area on that night. Hamm “resigned and retired” on April of 2013.

Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette/ United States Navy-Commander of Carrier Strike Group Three. His most recent activity served as Deputy Commander of the US Naval Forces, US Central Command. He was in charge of Air Craft Carriers in the Mediterranean Sea the night of September 11, 2012. He testified before the hearing committee and said that there may not have been time to get the flight crews there but left the door open on if told when the events took place if that he could have had the aircraft launched upon cross-examination by Rep. Tray Gowdey. Recently fired from the Administrative post and relieved of Duty by the Obama Administration for “utterance of a racial slur”.

Major General Ralph Baker, United States Army- Major General Baker served as the Commander of the Joint Task Force-Horn at Camp Lamar , Djibouti , Africa . Was also involved in some aspect with the incident September 11, 2012, being under the African Command. Had said he believed attack helicopters could have made it in time. Relieved of command and fired for groping a civilian (no assault charges or sexual misconduct charges filed with JAG)

Brigadier General Bryan Roberts, United States Army-General Roberts took command of Fort Jackson in 2011. Was considered a rising star in his field. He served in Iraq during his service as the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and was the Deputy Commanding General of the United States Army Recruiting Command, Fort Knox , KY. Relieved of Duty and Fired for Adultery. While this is still on the books in the United States Code of Military Justice, it has rarely been used since President Bill Clinton’s indiscretions.

Major General Gregg A. Sturdevant, United States Marine Corps-Director of Strategic Planning and Policy of for the United States Pacific Command and Commander of the aviation wing at Camp Bastion , Afghanistan . Highly decorated soldier with two Naval and Marine Commendations and two Naval and Marine Good Conduct medals. He also has an Air Medal with a gold star. He served honorably and distinctively. He had asked about supplies to his command. He was one of two commanding officers suddenly relieved of command and fired from the military for failure of proper force protection.

Major General Charles M.M. Gurganus, United States Marine Corps- Regional Commander in the Southwest and I Marine Expeditionary Force (a forward or frontal division) in Afghanistan. Also Highly decorated with a Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merritt w/Valor, and three Meritorious Service Commendations. Major General C.M.M.Gurganus had questioned the use of Afghanistan patrols along side American patrols after two officers were executed at their desk and a platoon was lead into an ambush on the front lines. Was the other commander relieved of duty for failure of proper force protection.

Lieutenant General David Holmes Huntoon Jr, United States Army-Served as the 58th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He had graduated from the same academy in 1973 and had served in Senior Planning and Education Services through the majority of his career. He was “censored” for “an investigation” into an “improper relationship” according to The Department of Defense. Nothing was released to the nature of the improper relationship. Nothing was even mentioned if an actual investigation even took place.

Vice Admiral Tim Giardina, United States Navy-Deputy Commander of the United States Strategic Command. Commander of the Submarine Group Trident, Submarine Group 9 and Submarine Group 10, where every single one of the 18 Nuclear Submarines with Nuclear Trident Missiles of those three groups were in his command. This commander earned six Legions of Merit, Two Meritorious Service Medals, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, and several other medals, ribbons and decorations in his illustrious career. He was removed from service and fired from the military for the charge of using counterfeit poker chips (not making that up).

Last on the list, Major General Michael Carry, United States Air Force-Commander 20th Air Force in charge of 9,600 people and 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) at three operational wings and served in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He was Fired October 11, 2013, for “Personal Misbehavior” is what was told to ABC News. He and Giardina were both the two top Commanders over the United States Nuclear Arsenal before their dismissal within 48 hours of each other.

As ABC News reports, this is an extremely alarming rate and one of the biggest and fastest purges of military personnel ever recorded. It apparently is such a shock at the rate even for a long time veteran of reporting the news as Dianne Sawyer, because at one point she gets heated saying two Commanders of the Nuclear Command.

You don’t put people who are not very intelligent and without a squeaky clean record over that area of the Military. It is enough to make the hardest and staunchest of supporters as the ABC news crew to pause and ask themselves, “what step is Obama planning?”

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What ‘s REALLY behind the (non) government shutdown

Some say it is the Affordable Care Act (which, despite Jimmy Kimmel’s man on the street interviews IS Obamacare, or more accurately, what was originally a housing act presented in the House, hijacked by Harry Reid to avoid the Constitutional limitation on revenue bills needing to originate from the House), but there is a larger picture here. Obama is the most ideologically driven Progressive since Woodrow Wilson. As a Political philosophy, Progressivism is in direct opposition to the American “Enlightenment” philosophy. i.e. the Natural rights of man, vs rights as determined by a convention of men.

As such, each action that Obama takes, as it fulfills NOT an issue driven agenda, but a philosophical agenda, further alienates the public.

It was this alienation – in particular the Progressive belief that ALL division, be it racial, ethnic, tribal, religious (in particular) and national are part of the historical past and have no place in the modern world, that has driven the birther movement.

But, it is this same alienation, i.e. the “Change” that he preached about so vehemently during his 2008 campaign, that has finally pushed a majority of the country to recognize that there is something happen that they can’t live with.

Resistance will not, as some believe, lessen. It may end on THIS particular issue, but you can expect this kind of resistance to build with each confrontation for the next 3 years.

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Scalia’s Brilliant dissent and statement on judicial overreach

This case is about power in several respects. It is about the power of our people to govern themselves, and the power of this Court to pronounce the law. Today’s opinion aggrandizes the latter, with the predictable consequence of diminishing the former.

We have no power to decide this case. And even if we did, we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation. The Court’s errors on both points spring forth from the same diseased root: an exalted conception of the role of this institution in America.

The Court is eager—hungry—to tell everyone its view of the legal question at the heart of this case. Standing in the way is an obstacle, a technicality of little interest to anyone but the people of We the People, who created it as a barrier against judges’ intrusion into their lives.

They gave judges, in Article III, only the “judicial Power,” a power to decide not abstract questions but real, concrete “true”“Cases” and “Controversies.” Yet the plaintiff and the Government agree entirely on what should happen in this lawsuit. They agree that the court below got it right; and they agreed in the court below that the court below that one got it right as well. What, then, are we doing here?

The answer lies at the heart of the jurisdictional portion of today’s opinion, where a single sentence lays bare the majority’s vision of our role. The Court says that we have the power to decide this case because if we did not, then our “primary role in determining the constitutionality of a law” (at least one that “has inflicted real injury on a would “become only secondary to the President’s.”

But wait, the reader wonders—Windsor won below, and so cured her injury, and the President was glad to see it. True, says the majority, but judicial review must march on regardless, lest we “undermine the clear dictate of the separation-of-powers principle that when an Act of Congress is alleged to conflict with the Constitution, it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”

That is jaw-dropping. It is an assertion of judicial supremacy over the people’s Representatives in Congress and the Executive. It envisions a Supreme Court standing (or rather enthroned) at the apex of government, empowered to decide all constitutional questions, always and everywhere “primary” in its role.

This image of the Court would have been unrecognizable to those who wrote and ratified our national charter. They knew well the dangers of “primary” power, and so created branches of government that would be “perfectly coordinate by the terms of their common commission,” none of which branches could “pretend to an exclusive or superior right of settling the boundaries between their respective powers.” The Federalist, No. 49, p. 314 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961) (J. Madison).

The people did this to protect themselves. They did it to guard their right to self-rule against the black-robed supremacy that today’s majority finds so attractive. So it was that Madison could confidently state, with no fear of contradiction, that there was nothing of “greater intrinsic value” or “stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty” than a government of separate and coordinate powers.

They did it to guard their right to self-rule against the black-robed supremacy that today’s majority finds so attractive. So it was that Madison could confidently state, with no fear of contradiction, that there was nothing of “greater intrinsic value” or “stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty” than a government of separate and coordinate powers…

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Anatomy of a choke

Let me be clear. I love Phil Mickelson.

I make no bones about the fact that he is one of, if not my favorite professional athlete.

Here’s why. One of the things my years in professional sports did for me was to make me never condemn an athlete or overly praise them for any one days worth of interaction with the public. They have bad days like we all do,, so a story from someone about any particularly athlete “blowing them off” really doesn’t mean anything to me. Perhaps their son or daughter is sick, or they just argued with their wife, or whatever.

However, when I was young, I regularly attended the Westchester Classic, which was played right down the street from me at the Westchester Country Club. I was dismayed by the seeming contempt ALL the golfers, with few exceptions, seemed to have for their fans.

Than, several years ago I was a security supervisor at the US Open at Winged Foot, also right down the street from me.

If anything, things had gotten worse. The golfers would walk the so called gauntlet of fans, either ignoring them, or randomly grabbing a program or ball, etc WHILE they kept walking, signing on the run literally trying to escape the unwashed masses.

There was one exception. Phil Mickelson. EVERY day of the Open, he stood and signed EVERY autograph, particularly EVERY child’s request.
But here’s the amazing part. If you’re a golf fan, you’ll remember the Winged Foot Open as the one that he REALLY choked away.

He came to the 18th hole leading. All he needed to do was lay up and get an easy par. Instead, he took out his driver, and put his drive into the corporate village and blew the Open. The coronation was already happening and it was pulled away.

When he reached the 18th green and finished, I walked him into the scorers room to sign his scorecard.

He sat there, with his wife, sobbing quietly together for almost 30 minutes.

He then composed himself, walked out the door and directly to the hundreds of young fans lining up to see him, well after the tournament crowd had left. He said to them all “I have to go do some press but I’ll be right back and get everyone”.

He turned around and we walked him to the mandatory interview in the press area and then, just as he said, he came back, and signed autographs until the last child was done.

To this day, I’ve never seen, nor heard, of anything like this. The worst moment of his professional career and all he thought about was the fans.

And I have no doubt he did the same yesterday.

Ah, yesterday.

Before the round, he was lighthearted and excited. “This will be fun” he told the NBC sportscaster at the end of the 3rd round.

But then, in the middle of the final round, it began to rain. Now, it was raining for everyone, and if the rain was going to slow down the course and make scores lower, it would benefit Mickelson and his playing partner, Hunter Mahan, more than anyone else as they’d have more holes and greens slowed by the rain.

Instead, Mickelson, on the tee, turned to his caddy, and in a question picked up by the mics, asked him “does anyone have a lightning report”.

I don’t know if the broadcasters didn’t want to comment, didn’t pick up on the meaning or didn’t want to speak ill, but it was clear what was about to happen.

But suddenly, “fun” turned into needless worry about something that a) was out of his control and b) had there been lightening, the USGA automatically would have suspended play.

And THAT is what a choke is. It is when you allow your mind to wander from your task and get distracted.

And not surprisingly, Mickelson took a one shot lead and turned it into a one shot deficit in the next 3 holes.

Oh well, as I always tell people, the reason that Tiger Woods is not CLOSE to the player Jack Nicklaus was, is because, yes, Jack won 18 majors, but he finished 2d, TWENTY times. That’s right, 20. Which means he put himself into position to win, essentially for 9 1/2 straight years, of EVERY major he played in.

And Mickelson, with 6 seconds in the US Open, has now put himself into position to win more times than anyone else in his era. More than Tiger, Ernie Els, or anyone else.

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Watch this if you have a chance…

While the following video has some major flaws, it is a pretty good summation of the philosophical foundations of what we are fighting as well as the groups that have led us to where we are.
The mistakes vary, from ignoring the importance of Plato, Hegel and Bernstein, to relying on questionable bigoted quasi religious zealots like Donald Wildmon and disgraced former Politicians like Edwin Meese. WHAT they say is not necessarily wrong, but solid, qualified academics could have been used to say the same things.

AGENDA: Grinding America Down (Full Movie) FREE to watch for a limited time! from Copybook Heading Productions LLC on Vimeo.

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Why are all the scandals popping up now?

The Obama administration, under any honest evaluation has had more than it’s fair share of “scandals”. From the “no lobbyists” claim and the immediate appointment of health care lobbyist Tom Daschle, and the farcical spectacle of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner failing to pay his taxes, the Susan Powers description during the campaign of Hillary Clinton as a “monster” or Robert Malley secretly negotiating with Hamas while Obama was still a candidate, straight through to Fast and Furious, Van Jones, and various other open antisemites or communists being appointed to significant positions in the administration and finally to the recent scandals, including the IRS targeting Tea Party, Patriot and (surprise) pro Israel groups, “Benghazigate” (which is far worse than the mass discussion would indicate) and the AP wiretapping scandals.

So why is it only the last three that seems to have finally taken hold in the “mainstream” media?

Since the days of William Randolph Hearst creating the Chicago Examiner for the express purpose of promoting the Democrat machine in the Windy City and Walter Lippman inventing modern political propaganda for Woodrow Wilson, the press has had, shall we say, a rather cozy relationship with the Democrat, or more specifically, the Progressive, Party.

But that relationship has been built on a particular understanding. That there would be no direct lies TO THEM. That a wink and a nudge would indicate that some spin was going on, but that the questions shouldn’t be too tough or too probing about Democrat foibles. So, nothing about JFK dating an East German spy, but a deep expose about Richard Nixon’s dog. (Not defending Nixon in any way!). No probing investigations of Billy Carter being a paid Lobbyist for Mohamar Ghadaffi, but Dan Rather inventing documents to discredit George W Bush’s National Guard service.

So what happened in DC during the last week to ten days?

2 significant things. First, White House Spokesman stood at the podium and said “the only change to the Benghazi talking points” given to Ambassador Susan Rice were “cosmetic”, changing the word “embassy” to “consulate”.

This was a blatant lie. A violation of the wink and nudge agreement that had so long existed. A lie directly to the White House Press Corps that still thinks of themselves as the scions of Woodward and Bernstein, holding truth to power (well at least Republican power).

Next, and perhaps even worse, in the eyes of the press, was the subpoena of Associated Press records and the bugging of the cloak room. The AP is, after all, ALL of the press. This was a direct attack on them, and an even more egregious attack on this silent agreement.

At this point, it was clear that there would no be a waterfall of reports and so, miraculously, 8 months after the election, reports actually began to be seen on the major networks about the Benghazi “whistle-blowers” and absolute disgust about the IRS scandal.

How far the press will take this new attitude I don’t know, but welcome back, 4th estate. A critical press is essential to the functioning of the Republic and you are all needed.

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