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Instahoglets Link-Dump, Feb 12th 2010

Posted by on February 13th, 2010

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By Steve Hynd

I’ve had a head-cold for four days and last night it finally reached my chest and triggered an asthma attack. I’m exhausted and sleep-deprived to the extent where 140 characters at a time is all I’m capable of. So here’s a link-dump based on my tweets of the last few days. Normal blogging will resume, I promise.

– Hudson Insitute insta-hack Lee Smith pens a poison letter about the Flint-Leveretts, alleging they’re shills for Iran because an exiled Iranian medical professor thinks their Iranian University contact might also work for Iranian intelligence. The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg immediately repeats such thin gruel from Smith, who’s works of wisdom include “The Case for Standing By Musharaff”, “Walid Jumblatt is No Weather Vane” and “Obama the Underminer”. Either Goldberg is shameless or his contract with Mossad (that a hairdresser told me about) requires him to repeat such twaddle.

– Over at National Review, Lenny Ben-David has some more AIPAC/neocon rubbish – this time about J Street and *gasp!* George Soros being “unkosher” because they think Israel has handed Gaza the dirty end of the stick. Are we seeing a pattern yet?

Noble Laureate Shirin Ebadi calls for political sanctions on Iran – but not economic sanctions, which she rightly says punish the people, not Iran’s elite. I now await Jeffrey Goldberg’s repetition of a baseless charge that Shirrin is a pawn of Iranian intelligence.

– Top British journalist and Middle East expert writes that the current hysteria over Iran is dangerous because “The more Tehran is threatened, the more defiant it becomes, and the more remote the chance of an agreement”. Matt Duss agrees, and tells infamous neocon shill and neo-liberal interventionist “homie” Eli Lake so. Personally, I don’t like the Iranian regime. It’s odious. But bombing it is the dumbest course imaginable, especailly if over trumped-up Iraqish reasons to do with Iran’s alleged nuclear threat.

– Trillions to Burn? Here’s a quick guide to the Surge(TM) in Pentagon spending

– In Afghanistan, the U.S. military finally admits the poulation in Helmand Province are the enemy – “95% of the locals are Taliban or aid the militants“. As hundreds and thousands of civilians try to flee, after the U.S. military told them to stay in their homes to be caught in the crossfire, Robert Naiman writes what Newshoggers’ John Ballard has been saying – the U.S. is preparing to commit war crimes in Marjah.

Joshua Foust has a great post on the Marjah offensive. “When viewed as a whole, this entire operation is a confusing, contradictory, counterproductive mess, seemingly destroying the one thing the residents of Helmand had going for them: a semi-functioning government.”

– And it’s probably worth remembering that the tactic of wiping out the village to save it is a time-honored old-school COIN one, most recently seen in Sri Lanka. There, a UN official now says up to 40,000 civilians were killed. Only last May, Washington Times and National Review contributor James S. Robbins was extolling the virtues of Sri Lanka’s “shoot ‘em all” approach. He wrote that Sri Lanka’s strategy was “the right way to win against terrorists” and continued on to suggest that Sri Lanka’s experiences held “lessons for Afghanistan and Pakistan, if we are willing to learn them.” Today Josh Foust informed me that Robbins also teaches at the national Defense University. That’s beyond parody.

–And finally, single mother Alexis Hutchinson, who’s story broke first here at Newshoggers, has been “less than honorably” discharged from the Army for missing her deployment flight…to look after her 10 month old son. Hutchison has been busted to private and will lose all her military and V.A. benefits. I know who has been dishonorable here, and it isn’t Spct (now Pvt) Hutchinson.

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