Saturday, June 14, 2008

Progressive Blogs Wrap-up

visitors to illinoize could easily make the mistake that illinois has a vibrant, competitive republican party. every day -- or so it seems -- GOPUSA ILLINOIS posts its "Daily Clips."

i'm not complaining. but a little balance is in order. the real competition to the existing power structure in the state doesn't come from the right, and it certainly doesn't come from republicans. i can't think of another state where republicans are less organized, more ideologically confused or politically demoralized. but the blogs on the left end of illinois' political spectrum are intellectually diverse and highly spirited. some of the posts from this past week include:

* congresswoman jan schakowsky wrote a diary on her Stop Outsourcing Security bill (HR4102). she includes a video of a recent interview with truthout.

* democratic congressional candidate dan seals wrote a diary on the immoral invasion of iraq and mark kirk's complicity in our continued presence there. it got front paged at openleft and dan was asked to return thursday evening to live blog for a bit. one thing i did not know: "Mark Kirk, was one of nine Congressional Republicans hand-picked to craft the language to go to war. He wasn’t just one out of 435 votes, not just one of the dozens of talking heads on cable news stations, but one of nine Congressman who helped lead us into this unnecessary war."

* ellen of the tenth follows up on mark kirk's complicity for the debacle in iraq.

* ebgill writes about kirk's efforts to deceive the local press, as well. she says, "Kirk and his supporters concentrate all of their time on issues that have little to no impact on the people of the district while completely ignoring everything that matters in our everyday lives, particularly how we were talked into a preemptive war based on lies and how it is affecting us today."

* progress illinois reveals that kirk has numerous misconceptions about health care in this country.

* rubberstamp roskam observes that Peter Roskam Gives Lobbyists Place of Honor in Washington Office. mrs roskam sure knows how to entertain us!

* heartland progressive reprints a Glen Ellyn News commentary he wrote. he observes that "Lack of moral courage appears to be a hallmark of your Congressional career these past seventeen months."

* moline democratic maverick laments about how the people of cedar rapids thought it would never flood.

* progress illinois notes that illinois treasurer alexi Giannoulias Secures Low-Interest Loans For Flood Victims. someone in state government is paying attention!

* sven wonders about Who is the Future of the Democratic Party? shouldn't be a surprise that alexi is one of the people mentioned.

* the 49th ward blog writes about Why One Alderman Should Decide.

* wegerje reports on al giordano's attempt to organize local progressives to connect with one another.

* leo writes about the need to the need to take back the language.

finally, not a blog, but an interesting effort nonetheless: the scott harper campaign has begun a website on the real judy biggert. the general election is in full swing.

it's not a daily rundown, but i'm looking at original material from (mostly) "citizen journalists." progressives have an exciting point of view in illinois, and they are creating original content. one word: none of these blogs (afaik) are currently represented on illinoize, which is why i chose to write about them here...


Bill Baar 4:09 PM  

What's the Progressive stand on Impeachment... not of Bush, but Blagojevich?

Bill Baar 4:15 PM  

YouTube of Obama on the immoral debacle of Irag back on April 5, 2004... a few days after toasting Blagojevich, Rezko, Nadhmi Auchi and Aiham Alsammarae at the Four Seasons.

Note how he flummox's the interviewer when he says he's never said bring the troops home.

bored now 6:16 PM  

what post talked about impeachment? i must have missed that.

as for your obama clip, i'm a little confused. did he *say* that he supported withdrawal before that time? obama certainly opposed invading iraq (being a serious constitutional scholar, how could he not?), but what i recall him saying (all the time) was that we need to be as cautious about getting out of iraq as we were careless about getting in. so i'm unclear as to the point you're trying to make...

Bill Baar 5:48 AM  

Yes, you did miss impeachement because no progressives seem to be saying much about it. They're content with Blagojevich it seems.

We're all confused by Obama Bored. As was the flummoxed interviewer.

I suspect it's Nadhmi Auchi and the rest of that crew at the Four Seasons who have the clearest idea of Obama's positions for Iraq and the middle east and they're not talking.

bored now 7:34 AM  

so which article was it? perhaps i should have been more specific in my request, since i assumed that you'd include a link.

as for your snide comment, you should always remember that you don't have a clue to what progressives are thinking. if you think progressives are content with the governor, you are not paying attention. a simple exercise for you would be: whatever you think progressives are thinking, assume the opposite.

i'm not at all surprised that you're confused by barack. as usual, you focus on the irrelevant in order to ignore the obvious. there, there. i'd bet that you'll be able to say the same thing for the next eight years! one notes that you were unable to answer the question about barack's position on iraq prior to that clip. i'm pretty sure that you're just lazy! let's just agree that barack has a better understanding of military history and our strategic doctrines than you do. which is cool, because we will be transitioning to a new military and strategic doctrine (which will probably flummox you as well). time to turn the page...

Bill Baar 5:06 PM  

so which article was it?

none...none of them talked about Impeachement. Impeaching Blagojevich is not a progressive priority.

Unduing our success in Iraq maybe... but not the folks in Illinois who sought to export our corrupt politics in the guise of reconstructing Iraq.

Downers Grove voter,  5:46 PM  

Didn't Bob Schillestrom hire Democrat HDO operative Victor Reyes (co-schemer A in federal indictments) as a lobbyist?
How could any Republican in good conscience hire Victor Reyes after being associated with Hired Trucks and Drug dealers and gang members?
Isn't there another Commissioner in DuPage who is close to Victor Reyes (I know the name. Do you?)

When is the Al Sanchez trial going to start?
Why would Schillestrom hire this corrupt Democrat from Cook County as a lobbyist.
The DuPage Forest Preserve hired PAUL ROSENFELD the Blagojevich operative as a lobbyist (what does he know about wetlands again?)

Pay to Play. Influence politics. Corruption.
RINO Bob Schillestrom the king of casinos and tax and spend.

bored now 7:28 PM  

so you were just engaging in a little diary hijacking. got it. good neocon tactics, i suppose.

our success in iraq??? is that the $4/gallon gas prices? or our reduced military capability? or is it simply the fact that osama bin laden remains free to cause havoc throughout the world? being stuck in the quagmire that is iraq can hardly be called a success...

Rich Miller 10:53 PM  

BB, ArchPundit has been a forceful voice for impeachment for several months now. Your argument holds no water.

Bill Baar 6:17 AM  

ArchPundit's also shared asking Jill Morgenthaler to explain her connections to Rezko and Companion Security too.

Start accusing opponents of being immoral, well, it gets thrown back in your face bored.

You look at the roll of some so called Democrats in Iraq and the middle east from Illinois and the immorality charge rankles.

If that's hijacking a post, will, watch out...more's a coming... Especially if Rezko starts talking about Alsammarae.

bored now 6:40 AM  

invading iraq was immoral. since we've already had this conversation, i will only reiterate that every institution with a long-time association with the just war tradition deemed it so. *i* wasn't declaring the iraqi invasion immoral, merely repeating the declaration of those with the moral authority to do so.

i already know that you're a neocon and a believer in situational ethics. we happen to disagree (strongly). but at least my position has the backing of social institutions with moral authority. you have dick cheney. when i was at ndu, the u.s. military believed in the just war tradition, as well. how low they have fallen to serve our idiot president...

JB Powers 6:53 AM  

"every institution with a long-time association with the just war tradition deemed it so"

Oddly enough, The Roman Catholic Church, a really large institution with a volume or two on the Catechism did not make a pronouncement about the Iraq War being a Just War or not, despite media spin of the subject.

What institution did?


Bill Baar 6:58 AM  

BoredNow...what authority do you claim for you (who are you?) and your unnamed institutions.

C'mon better than authority claims.

Check WaPo's Editorial yesterday: A Partnership With Iraq
The Shiite government signals a desire for an alliance with the United States. Shouldn't that be welcomed?

Turning our backs on an ally is the immorality Democrats are going to have to explain.

I don't need a Church, neocons, or what ever authority you claim, to know betraying a friend is dishonorable...

I learned that on the cornor of Roosevelt Rd and Austin years ago.. anybody in Chicago with decency..even the hoodlums... knows what ditching a friend in a fight is about.

bored now 8:33 AM  

the wiki article squares with my own experience:

"The Holy See took a firm stance against the U.S. plan to invade Iraq. Pope John Paul II's special envoy, Pío Cardinal Laghi, was sent by the Church to talk with George W. Bush to express opposition to the war on Iraq. The Catholic Church said that it was up to the United Nations to solve the international conflict through diplomacy. According to the Church, the Iraq war, and indeed most modern wars, did not satisfy the just war requirements set by St. Augustine of Hippo and other theologians. The method of total war (i.e. any non accidental attacks on non combatants, or civilian infrastructure), which has been used in most modern wars since the American Civil War and which was used in Iraq, are not permitted. The Church was also worried of the fate of the Chaldean Catholics of Iraq. The Vatican worried that they might see the same destruction as happened to the Churches and Monasteries after the war in Kosovo. The Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Jean Louis Tauran, said that only the UN can decide on a military attack against Iraq, because a unilateral war would be a "crime against peace and a crime against international law". The Cardinal Secretary of State of the Vatican, Angelo Cardinal Sodano, indicated that only the United Nations Security Council had the power to approve an attack in self-defense, and only in case of a previous aggression. His opinion was that the attack on Iraq did not fall into this category and that a unilateral aggression would be a "crime against peace and a violation of the Geneva Convention"."

i've never heard the claim that the catholic church stated that our invasion of iraq met the just war standards. i would love to see evidence of that.

i was involved in other church efforts to meet with the president to inform him of the church's view that invading iraq failed the just war tests of just cause, last resort, right authority and proportionality. i met several times with catholic authorities in that process. i can only assume they had the approval of the church's hierarchy.

bill, had you any awareness of the importance of the just war tradition to our military, you would have been aware of exactly to what i was referring. i will try to use more simple language next time. and, yes, i'm aware of your employment of relativistic principles to impose your views on others. you can mock my commitment to the centuries old just war tradition all you like, it doesn't make our invasion of iraq any less moral. to defend your devotion to immoral action, you (again) try to divert us from what is important (the immoral invasion of iraq) to that which is meaningless (your friendship with the iraqi cause). one has nothing to do with the other...

Bill Baar 10:27 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Baar 10:28 AM  

bill, had you any awareness of the importance of the just war tradition to our military, you would have been aware of exactly to what i was referring. i will try to use more simple language next time.

Just try keeping it short Bored... read Rumsfeld's response to Russert on Meet the Press March 23, 2002...

...then put your glass down and step off your high horse.

bored now 10:36 AM  

yes, i agree. your position is morally indefensible. no one has done more to destroy the american military than the idiot rumsfeld. i'm unclear as to what any of this has to do with illinois politics, but -- once again -- we reach this same standstill. you like iraq and i care about american national security. one of these things is not like the other...

Bill Baar 10:43 AM  

Look at who Illinois Politics was sending over to Iraq to help with reconstruction... that's the nexus....check my post on Alsammarae's Press Conference yesterday in Amman and his message to Sen Obama... this is a guy [Alsammarae] sending msg about what he knows about Illinois and our Where's mine? ethics.

JB Powers 10:46 AM  

There is a huge difference between a stated opinion by a member of the Vatican Staff (quoted by Wikipedia, of all the authoritative sources!) and a proclamation of doctrine of the Catholic Church.

The Vatican has never made a definitive statement about Iraq and the "Just War" doctrine. As it stands, the subsidiary judgment of the individual is the final word on the morality of the Iraq War, per the Catholic Church.


bored now 12:47 PM  

i wasn't relying on the authority of wikipedia (and stated so explicitly). i'm unclear what information you're using to decide that the catholic church believed the invasion of iraq met the standards of the just war tradition when that was exactly the opposite of my own personal experience. all i asked for was evidence that you were drawing a conclusion based upon evidence. my own recollection is that the catholic position was conveyed exactly as it had been in the last 80 years. how that diverges from your expectation (or argument) i cannot say, as i don't understand exactly what you are attempting to argue. the catholic church made every attempt to communicate with the administration its position that invading iraq would be immoral, failing to meet the standards of the just war tradition. if you have evidence to the contrary, i would love to be made aware of it!

JB Powers 1:52 PM  

There are various levels of proclamations by the Vatican, some of which are just matters of non-authoritative opinion, not official doctrine.

Take a look at Pope Benedict's Statement to the UN in April. He isn't declaring the Iraq War to be Just or Un-just.


bored now 3:39 PM  

i'm not sure i understand the link to benedict's speech before the un. i didn't find anything that contradicted what he had previously said about the matter (in fact, i didn't find the subject broached):

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger does not believe that a unilateral military attack by the United States against Iraq would be morally justifiable, under the current circumstances.

According to the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- who acknowledged that political questions are not within his competence -- "the United Nations is the [institution] that should make the final decision."

"It is necessary that the community of nations makes the decision, not a particular power," the cardinal said, after receiving the 2002 Trieste Liberal Award. His statements were published Saturday in the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

"The fact that the United Nations is seeking the way to avoid war, seems to me to demonstrate with enough evidence that the damage would be greater than the values one hopes to save," the cardinal said.

He said that "the U.N. can be criticized" from several points of view, but "it is the instrument created after the war for the coordination -- including moral -- of politics."

The "concept of a 'preventive war' does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church," Cardinal Ratzinger noted.

"One cannot simply say that the catechism does not legitimize the war," he continued. "But it is true that the catechism has developed a doctrine that, on one hand, does not exclude the fact that there are values and peoples that must be defended in some circumstances; on the other hand, it offers a very precise doctrine on the limits of these possibilities."

Q: Eminence, a topical question that in a certain sense is inherent to the Catechism: Does the Anglo-American war against Iraq fit the canons of a "just war"?

Cardinal Ratzinger: The Pope expressed his thought with great clarity, not only as his individual thought but as the thought of a man who is knowledgeable in the highest functions of the Catholic Church. Of course, he did not impose this position as doctrine of the Church but as the appeal of a conscience enlightened by faith.

The Holy Father's judgment is also convincing from the rational point of view: There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. To say nothing of the fact that, given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a "just war."

john paul's instructions were more clear:

And what are we to say of the threat of a war which could strike the people of Iraq, the land of the Prophets, a people already sorely tried by more than twelve years of embargo? War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations. As the Charter of the United Nations Organization and international law itself remind us, war cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring the common good, except as the very last option and in accordance with very strict conditions, without ignoring the consequences for the civilian population both during and after the military operations.

this view was furthered when:

The vehicle for the latest critique was the Jesuit-edited journal Civiltà Cattolica, whose pages are reviewed by the Vatican Secretariat of State before publication. In the lead editorial of its May 17 issue, the journal asserted that “the United States has put international law in crisis.”


The editorial bluntly said the war was unjustified.

Noting that Iraq’s army was weak, and that weapons of mass destruction have not been found, the editorial said these facts “have clearly shown that there were not sufficient reasons for moving against Iraq, because the country did not constitute a true threat for the United States and its allies.”

The editorial said the most urgent task now is to “reestablish international legality, wounded by the ‘unilateralism’ of the United States.” It called for the United Nations, not the United States, to direct the post-war work in Iraq.

“It’s a matter of relaunching the spirit of the United Nations charter, based on cooperation, rather than on competition among enemy states and on domination of an imperialistic sort by the hegemonic superpower.”

again, contemporary reportage of vatican efforts conforms with my memory of working with american catholics before and after the meeting with the president:

John Paul II sent his personal representative, Cardinal Pio Laghi, a friend of the Bush family, to remonstrate with the U.S. President before the war began. Pio Laghi said such a war would be illegal and unjust. The message was clear: God is not on your side if you invade Iraq.

After the United States began its attacks against Iraq, FOX News actually reported the immediate comments of the Holy Father, made in an address at the Vatican to members of an Italian religious television channel, Telespace: "When war, as in these days in Iraq, threatens the fate of humanity, it is ever more urgent to proclaim, with a strong and decisive voice, that only peace is the road to follow to construct a more just and united society," John Paul said. "Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of man."


But in some of the Vatican's strongest language against a possible war, its foreign minister Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran said a unilateral military strike would be a "crime against peace" with no justification on grounds of self-defense.

Vatican officials have also spoken of what they consider are the political realities of an American attack on an Arab country.

"We want to say to America: Is it worth it to you? Won't you have have, afterward, decades of hostility in the Islamic world," asked the Vatican's No. 2 official, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

The Vatican has been the center of diplomacy.

The Vatican renewed its opposition to war in Iraq on Wednesday, saying military action would only make matters worse and that a pre-emptive strike raised serious ethical and legal problems.

"It's unilateralism, pure and simple," the Vatican's UN observer, Archbishop Renato Martino, said in comments published in the Italian newsweekly Famiglia Christiana.

The principle of a "first strike" as well as its possible use in Iraq "provoke profound reservations be it from the ethical or legal point of view," he said.

He recalled the Vatican's opposition to the 1991 Gulf War, saying: "Everyone knows the way it turned out. War doesn't resolve problems. Besides being bloody, it's useless," he said.

The Vatican's foreign minister has said the United Nations must authorize any military action in Iraq and a papal adviser has warned against the "unacceptable human costs and grave destabilizing effects" of a preventive strike.

you seem to be making a semantical distinction that may be unfamiliar to someone who was not schooled in the catholic tradition. regardless, as i was involved in the debates at a very high level, my understanding was quite clear that the vatican and american bishops were in agreement about the fact that invading iraq would not meet the standards established by the just war tradition and that we were in common cause in communicating that declaration to the administration...

JB Powers 8:39 PM  


But you are wrong in regard to when a declaration is made as to a "just war". There has been no such declaration.

The official declarations have been that this is a complex issue requiring individual judgment.

Try Pope Benedict's address again. I spoke to a canon lawyer today who mentioned it was controversial among Catholics for being in favor of intervention in Iraq (and other places.)

The Vatican has neither condemned nor condoned the War in Iraq in an official manner.


bored now 9:21 PM  

i wasn't using the term in the sense of a formal declaration (which may have specific meaning for you with which i'd be unfamiliar). again, the catholic church's "declaration" that invading iraq would be immoral or unjust came in the same manner that it had "declared" wars just or unjust in the preceding 80 years, according to the catholic scholars i dealt with at the time. hence "declaration of those with the moral authority to do so" was an all-encompassing comment to include the various forms of condemnation through the various christian denominations who shared with the catholic church an interest in the just war tradition...

JB Powers 10:36 AM  

Oh it makes perfect sense now.

Since the term fits your use for propaganda purposes you adopt the meaning to what you need it to mean, sort of like the Queen of Hearts, who was also mad.

I think the one or two people who actually read these comments can see an attempted hijack of the Catechism for political purposes.


bored now 7:51 PM  

i'm sorry. i clearly assumed that you were more intelligent. you assumed i was catholic -- or knew what a catechism was. news flash: not everyone in illinois is catholic.

it probably didn't occur to you that someone cannot hijack something "for political purposes" when they don't even know it exists. but that's being rational.

if you were offended, you really need to blame the vatican's representatives, with whom i worked in 2002/03 to make sure that the bush administration was aware that they deemed invading iraq immoral. it really does seem that your dispute is with them, not i (who understands your christian denomination imperfectly)...

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