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This week I was not terribly surprised to learn that Elizabeth Warren, one of the darlings of the progressive left, has capitulated to the needs of Empire in her race for the US Senate. At the bottom of the National Security / Foreign Policy page of her campaign website it reads:

Iran is a significant threat to the United States and our allies.  Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, it is an active state sponsor of terrorism, and its leaders have consistently challenged Israel’s right to exist. Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is unacceptable because a nuclear Iran would be a threat to the United States, our allies, the region, and the world. The United States must take the necessary steps to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. I support strong sanctions against Iran and believe that the United States must also continue to take a leadership role in pushing other countries to implement strong sanctions as well. Iran must not have an escape hatch.

Never mind that the consensus of the top US military and intelligence agencies is that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons: United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said on Face the Nation: "[Is Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No." Voice of America wrote yesterday: "Secretary Clinton says the U.S. intelligence community believes Iran has not yet decided to produce a nuclear weapon." The New York Times of February 24 reports:

Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.
Thus the questions arise: how can a champion of economic justice in the United States be so blatantly out of touch with reality when it comes to foreign policy? How can someone who fights against the big financial conglomerates support the big military/industrial conglomerates? Is there any integrity left in our political system? And finally, have we as a nation become so dependent on Empire that we really don't care about what our government does in our name as long as we have food on our table?

It is obvious that Warren is an extremely intelligent and knowledgeable person and for this reason we need to come to terms with the fact that her decision to go against the consensus on this issue is politically calculated. Warren and her advisors must believe they need to be hawkish on foreign policy in order to win the election. But to be hawkish doesn't mean to be foolish. When you blatantly go against the military and intelligence consensus of your own party's Administration because you believe that that would make you more electable you simply look foolish and opportunistic.

Since an image is worth a thousand words here is a map in response to Warren's preposterous claim that "Iran is a significant threat to the United States" and its allies which shows Iran almost completely encircled by US military bases:

Which begs the question: who is threatening whom Ms. Warren?

I am sure Warren and her handlers must have done their research, polling and focus groups, but does she really believe that people who support her on economic justice will feel energized by her belligerent imperial rhetoric against Iran? Or, as I postulated above, does she really think that we, the American people, are passively going to accept the faustian deal that in order to maintain our lifestyle we must subjugate the rest of the world?

I guess I have more questions than answers, but does Warren believe that the Occupy movement cannot or does not want to make the connection between militarism overseas and repression of first amendment rights at home? And on this topic, I'd like to take a moment to point out something that doesn't seem to get much airplay, at least so far. As a matter of fact, this really deserves its own diary (and I hope someone will pick it up before I do so) but I will put it here for the time being since I believe it is connected to the increased militarization of our national discourse.

Last night I learned of the Trespass Bill (H.R. 347), which was voted by the House of Representatives almost unanimously (388-to-3) and which gives the government the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest under the guise of protecting government officials. There is almost complete silence in the US media about this bill which has passed both chambers of Congress, but RT reports:

United States Representative Justin Amash (MI-03) was one of only three lawmakers to vote against the act when it appeared in the House late Monday. Explaining his take on the act through his official Facebook account on Tuesday, Rep. Amash writes, “The bill expands current law to make it a crime to enter or remain in an area where an official is visiting even if the person does not know it's illegal to be in that area and has no reason to suspect it's illegal.

Some government officials may need extraordinary protection to ensure their safety. But criminalizing legitimate First Amendment activity — even if that activity is annoying to those government officials — violates our rights,” adds the representative.

Is this the country that we and Warren want to live in? Have we reached the point where our politicians believe that we are so selfish and greedy that as long as we have a job and money to shop we will relinquish all our responsibilities to a government that subjugates any country that does not fall in line with its interests or any American who happens to disagree with its policies?

The bright side is that the USSR has already fallen over the assumption that all that people want is a full belly and a roof over their head. And for this reason, I simply find it crude and narrow minded for a would be politician such as Warren to run on a platform that relies on the cognitive dissonance that we can be fair to each other as we bully everyone else in the world. As Occupy continues to show, love, compassion, empathy and solidarity - not just here but everywhere - are the ways of the future if the world is to have a future at all.

And so I will conclude this diary with the Occupy Wall St. video aptly titled The Revolution Is Love:

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Comment Preferences

  •  Besides multiple other nonsense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, Chinton

    the bill to which you refer as sitting on Obama's desk for signature?  I clicked your link and the vote was re: a reconciliation with a Senate amendment.  Did you read the link you provided?

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 10:33:36 AM PST

  •  OK a couple of things (4+ / 0-)

    I refuse to get my knickers in a twist over Warren putting Iran/Israel boiler plate on her web site.

    Warren gets the vote for her domestic policy chops on banks and financial matters effecting the middle class and working poor not her foreign policy chops. She has none.

    As to your bill. It is conference committee. You have ample opportunity to rally folks to try and kill it. And you should the bill sucks and thank you for bringing to to my attention.

    Republican Family Values: Using the daughters from your first wife to convince everybody that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

    by jsfox on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 11:01:34 AM PST

    •  Thank you for the well reasoned comment (0+ / 0-)

      It is true that the bill is in committee, but given the almost unanimous approval in both houses of Congress, I am not holding my hopes up for the bill being killed. It's sure worth the try though.

      •  You never know unless you try (0+ / 0-)

        Yes a bit trite, but true none the less ;)

        Republican Family Values: Using the daughters from your first wife to convince everybody that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

        by jsfox on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 12:53:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Concerns concern you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chinton

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 11:13:49 AM PST

  •  It's really only a small percentage of people... (0+ / 0-)

    ...in this country, out of those who care, who would dissent from what she's written there.  I'm one of them, but in a way I'm worse because I'd work actively to subvert the Iranian government in general.  So I don't really see anything noteworthy or scary there, especially since she never gave anyone reason to believe she'd be in that small percentage.

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 11:15:47 AM PST

  •  I didn't realize.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chinton, Murphoney, Angie in WA State

    That supporting sanctions makes her a party to "The Imperial Senate". Thanks for clearing that up.

    •  Supporting sanctions (0+ / 0-)

      against a country who is not pursuing nuclear weapons is a bullying tactic aimed at provoking them into a conflict just like we did with Iraq. I guess you could call us a truly postmodern passive/aggressive empire.

      •  There have been sanctions.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chinton

        Against Iran since the Shah was deposed decades ago. Newer and different sanctions have been added over the years because they constantly flaunt international law, call for the destruction of Israel, refuse to allow international verification of what they are or aren't doing with their nuclear program and they treat their people like crap (though, as of lately, some have said the same thing about the U.S.of A). These sanctions are all designed to encourage the Iranian government to meet with other nations and discuss these matters. Ms.Warrens' supporting the sanctions at best makes her centrist on the matter and hardly earns her the monicker of Imperial anything.

  •  It is absurd to spin the statements of Clinton (0+ / 0-)

    and Panetta in the way you have.  They clearly mean that Iran may hold off on actually assembling a weapon while they complete all of the necessary technology work.  This will leave them in a "breakout" position with very short lead time.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 01:28:37 PM PST

    •  Is the NYT spinning also? (0+ / 0-)

      Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.

      http://www.nytimes.com/...

      •  From that NYT article: (0+ / 0-)
        In Senate testimony on Jan. 31, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, stated explicitly that American officials believe that Iran is preserving its options for a nuclear weapon, but said there was no evidence that it had made a decision on making a concerted push to build a weapon. David H. Petraeus, the C.I.A. director, concurred with that view at the same hearing. Other senior United States officials, including Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have made similar statements in recent television appearances.
        linked to from that article:
        http://www.nytimes.com/...
        WASHINGTON — Some senior Iranian leaders are now more willing to carry out attacks inside the United States in response to perceived American threats against their country, the Obama administration’s top intelligence official said on Tuesday, pointing to last fall’s  suspected assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador to Washington.
        which referred to this assassination plot:
        http://www.nytimes.com/...
        The alleged plot also included plans to pay the cartel, Los Zetas, to bomb the Israeli Embassy in Washington and the Saudi and Israeli Embassies in Argentina, according to a law enforcement official.

        The plotters also discussed a side deal between the Quds Force, part of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and Los Zetas to funnel tons of opium from the Middle East to Mexico, the official said. The plans never progressed, though, because the two suspects — the Iranian-American and an Iranian Quds Force officer — unwittingly were dealing with an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration, officials said.

        It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

        by Murphoney on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 02:07:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That article makes precisely the same point (0+ / 0-)

        that I made in the previous comment.

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 02:13:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Iran won't be encircled when we leave Iraq. (0+ / 0-)

    Dubya accomplished the mullah's #1 goal when he took out Saddam. Now Iraq is already close to an Iranian protectorate and will be under their thumb when we leave. Assad in Syria is their ally (and really their client since everyone else in the area except the Israelis are trying to get him out). Lebanon is controlled by Hezbollah, also their client. The only country in the area that has anything like their power and influence is Turkey.

    I think that our policy in the area has always been idiotic, but saying that we have Iran under control is not realistic.

  •  So ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

    that she is taking this stance.....all she had to do was wait until Brown votes for the Blunt amendment. And why is she not just stomping the hell outta this guy? Oh yeah.....money.

  •  Again, we will be fooled again (0+ / 0-)

    So many progressives were jumping for joy when Warren was NOT chosen to run the Consumer Protection Agency she helped create because she would run for Senate and be our champion. Ha!

    I thought at the time, "Obama caves again to Republicans without a fight and there is no guarantee..."

    Most Dems, especially national Dems, are NOT our friends...the proof abounds.

    Peace,
    Tex Shelters

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