It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is welcomed by the Iraq government that Bush and Company put in place.

“If the US is not there to protect [the Kurds and Shiites], they have no choice but to turn to Iran. Iraq’s Shiites know that without a foreign backer, they will be massacred by Sunni Arabs. And the Kurds fear the Turks,” says Amir Taheri, a London-based analyst and journalist of Iranian descent.

In contrast to the Iraq visits of American officials, including President Bush, which are never announced for security reasons, Ahmadinejad landed here to much pomp.

At the Baghdad airport, he descended the stairs of his presidential jet smiling and waving. He was greeted with hugs and kisses by top Iraqi officials, including Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd. Hundreds of Kurdish peshmerga, considered the most capable of Iraq’s forces, were in charge of security as the convoy carrying Ahmadinejad made its way from the airport to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s residence.

Ahmadinejad did require security, he is a Shiite and unfortunately violence in Iraq seems to be on the upswing. Things may change, but for now Iraqi refugees don’t see any reason to return to Bush’s budding democracy in the Middle-East.

More Iraqis continue to flee their country than the numbers returning, despite official claims to the contrary.

Thousands fleeing say security is as bad as ever, and that to return would be to accept death.

“Return to Iraq?” asks 35-year-old Ahmed Alwan, an Iraqi engineer now working at a restaurant in Damascus. “There is no Iraq to return to, my friend. Iraq only exists in our dreams and memories.”

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported September last year that there are between 1.2 and 1.4 million Iraqi refugees in Syria alone.

The numbers alone do not tell the story. The ones that could leave were the Iraqi professionals like Alwan that the country needs to rebuild their country.

Karl Rove seems like so many modern era Republicans constitutionally incapable of telling the truth. Since he chooses to tell such obvious lies one must also assume that like anyone of low character he doesn’t care much, Notwithstanding Obama’s consistent support for Israel, Rove suggests that as president, Obama may withdraw funding for Israel. Maybe Rove is also trying to make up for the large block of Catholics that Republicans have lost this election cycle since McCain has embraced the worse of the right-wing christianists who is also an anti-Semite. There are in fact few groups of people that Hagee doesn’t hate.

Jonah Goldberg’s trash has made its way across the pond. Yet another American that seems determined to be a life long embarrassment to his country, Jackboots and Whole Foods 

Now that is revisionism. But for all his chapter and verse on the proletarian rhetoric that Nazis employed, Goldberg somehow forgets to mention certain other salient matters, like the fact that within three months of taking power Hitler banned trade unions – and on the day after May Day, 1933. Their money was confiscated and their leaders imprisoned. And the trade unions were replaced with the Nazi “union” called the German Labour Front, which took away the right to strike. Hitler did many worse things, of course. I single out this act because it would hardly seem to be the edict of a “man of the left.” And there exist about a million nearly epileptic quotes from Hitler and Goebbels and other Nazis expressing their luminous hatreds of liberalism and of communism, none of which seem to have found their way into the pages of Liberal Fascism.

So much once again for meritocracy. To make such large fundamental eras of fact, had Jonah’s book been a college term paper would have earned an F. Since he is a connected Conservative from a wealthy family his screed gets published. Reviewer Michael Tomasky states that it is obvious that Goldberg doesn’t know a thing about liberalism. Very possible, but I suspect a combination of intellectual dishonesty and willful ignorance,

However much or little Goldberg knows about fascism, he knows next to nothing about liberalism. Anybody familiar with Liberalism 101 grasps that there is something deep within liberalism, from its earliest beginnings, that prevents it from degenerating into fascism, and that is its explicit recognition that the state must serve both common purposes and individual liberty. Liberal theorists from John Locke to Cass Sunstein, with hundreds in between, have addressed this point. It is absolutely central to liberal theory and liberal practice. We do believe in such a thing as the common good, yes we do. We want more of it, and we want a democratic leader who will summon us to believe in it, who will locate for us the intersection of self-interest and common interest at which citizens can be persuaded to participate, together, collectively, in a project larger than their own success. But where that collective urge crosses the line into coercion, well, that is where liberals – I mean liberals who know something about liberalism – get off the train, and do their noncoercive best to derail it.

Tomasky might have been a little too tough on Woodrow Wilson, but otherwise a good review.

“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” ~ Dr. Carl Sagan

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