Posted on September 07, 2011 in Countdown

Our Best Ally?

“Israel is our most important ally” is all too common a sentiment in Washington. But not everyone agrees. Indeed, one person who strongly disagrees is recent Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who apparently suggested that "the U.S. gets zero from Israel.” Commenting on all the security assistance and cooperation the US provides to Israel and Bibi Netanyahu’s rejectionist attitude with regards to the peace process, Gates also said that Netanyahu was "ungrateful,” and argued that he was endangering his own country by refusing to end the occupation of the West Bank. Most interestingly, the sources that leaked this information also noted that “Gates’s analysis met with no resistance from other members of the [National Security Council Principals] committee.” It is worth mentioning that Gates was picked as a Secretary of Defense by the Bush administration, so he’s not exactly a lefty liberal on foreign and defense policy. Is Washington beginning to wake up? Too bad so many in Congress are in love with the snooze button.

Santorum Never Saw This Coming (Nor Did We) 

Seemingly seeking to kill two birds with one stone, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum dipped his attack on the gay community with a tad bit of Islamophobia, saying they had “gone out on a jihad” against him because of his stance against gay marriage. While we have some clever and funny people on the Countdown team, we figured we’ll leave this one for the gay rights website dedicated to making fun of Rick Santorum to respond to (quoting them at some length): “What [Santorum] doesn't realize is that his fear-mongering statement that the gay community is committing 'jihad' against him is actually the most accurate thing he's said possibly ever… Like Muslims, who have a duty to their god to wage a moral and spiritual battle - whether it be against oppressors or against other kinds of obstacles, proponents of equality have a duty to struggle against those who would oppress us.”

Because Countdown Without Crazy Would Just Be Crazy 

Remember Allen West? How can you forget! Apart from recently suggesting President Obama was like Neville Chamberlain, he has decided to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with a showing of the anti-Muslim documentary Sacrificed Survivors, which focuses on Park51 (or the Ground Zero Mega-Mosque as they call it) with incendiary rhetoric about Islam and the American Muslim community. By the way, that’s the same Allen West who is now seeking a condemnation of Hoffa from Obama over inciting rhetoric when West himself “encouraged his supporters [to] use ‘muskets’ and ‘bayonets’ to defeat Democrats,” as Jon Stewart recently highlighted. Yup, Countdown just wouldn’t be the same without a little dose of crazy to scare us a little, and amuse us a lot.

P vs. P 

With the Republican competition for a Presidential frontrunner heating up, Ron Paul, it seems, has decided to take on Rick Perry as his primary target. Paul & Perry, both from Texas, have exchanged jabs in recent days. Just this morning, a Paul adviser went after Perry for being… too much of a Democrat? “It is not that you supported Al Gore that worries us. It is that you supported Hillary Clinton's health care plan,” he said, continuing later, “yet you now try to swagger your way into the Tea Part.” And this may not all be just the 2012 election. As far back as 2007, long before Rick Perry considered running for national office, he said he “didn’t ever” consider Ron Paul for President, and “didn’t have to study that one too deep” to realize he doesn’t support his candidacy. Ignored in this battle is former front runner Mitt Romney, and we’re not sure if he’s enjoying staying above the fray or resenting the lack of attention.

Gaffney Wants Them to Pander 

Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy recently put out the Peace Through Strength Platform, a vague, generic, and sometimes weird set of guidelines attempting to serve as a coherent national security agenda. The group hopes that GOP presidential candidates will sign on to it. Item five of the pledge, called “Preserve and Protect the Constitution of the United States,” takes aim at (you guessed it) Shariah, which (get this) the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to “insinuate…into this country” for the purpose of “destroying Western civilization from within.” We couldn’t verify with the conspirators how far along this plot has gone since all Muslims practice “taqiyya” so we’ll just take Gaffney’s word for it. We sincerely hope that the GOP candidates, however, do not.

Mind Over Body 

Keep your hands off my…inbox! According to a new poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, Americans are more concerned about the government scanning their emails than their bodies; 30% of respondent supported email snooping while a whopping 58% favor full-body scans at airports. This may seem like bad news to those of us who are tired of being frisked and prodded by TSA agents, though the majority of Americans do admit that they’ve lost some personal freedoms since 9/11. And while we’re on the subject, can someone please tell Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) that 66% of Americans don’t support racial and ethnic profiling during airport security screenings?

Perpetual Emergency

The Emergency Committee for Israel, an organization forever entangled in its own self-created emergency, put out an ad called The Uniter, attacking president Obama for his stance on Israel and the 1967 boarders. The ad claims that Obama united “everyone” in opposition to his policy. To prove their claim, they reviewed clips by “everyone” and they all expressed disappointment with the President’s approach. Oh, wait, sorry! They didn’t really show clips by “everyone” (it’s a country of 300+ million for heaven’s sake). They actually just showed clips of 4 people who agreed with them. 2 of those 4 were the candidates who have been trying to out-pro-Israel each other to win Anthony Weiner’s seat, and the other two were Mayor Ed Koch and Senator Joe Lieberman. These 4 people constitute “everyone” about as much as the “Emergency Committee for Israel” is responding to an “emergency.” Very convincing stuff!

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