From Volume 36, Issue 47 of EIR Online, Published Dec. 4, 2009

United States News Digest

Editorial Starts Firestorm vs. Rahm Emanuel

Nov. 29 (EIRNS)—The Nov. 28 New York Times lead editorial, thrashing President Obama and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for running an amateur hour foreign policy, has triggered a firestorm of attacks against the White House advisor. Dozens of blogs picked up on the significance of the editorial's exposé of Emanuel's role in wrecking U.S. peace initiatives in the Middle East. Other attack fronts have been opened against Emanuel, including over his scheming to oust White House General Counsel Greg Craig, who made the fatal mistake of believing Obama's campaign rhetoric against the Bush-Cheney unitary executive policy, the commitment to shut down Guantanamo, and expose the torture policies of the previous regime.

Another major blow to the Obama Presidency was delivered Nov. 23, when CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric indicted Obama's failures on almost every policy front, from Afghanistan, to health care, to jobs. Citing recent polls that showed the President's approval rating below 50%; that only 14% of Americans believe health-care reform will be cost-neutral; and 7% believe that the stimulus created jobs. Couric also nailed the President for incompetence during his recent Asia trip, where no advance agreements were made, and the trip was seen widely as a total bust.

The Chicago press continues to attack Obama's "Chicago mob" for bringing the Daley style of shallow, brutal, back-stabbing politics to Washington, always singling out the troika of Emanuel, David Axelrod, and Valerie Jarrett as the hatchet team.

Petraeus Upstages Obama on Afghanistan Policy

Nov. 29 (EIRNS)—Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of the U.S. Central Command, has joined British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in upstaging President Barack Obama, on the eve of the latter's Dec. 1 West Point address to the nation, announcing his strategy for Afghanistan. Petraeus was interviewed in today's edition of Parade magazine.

Petraeus spelled out his own Afghanistan strategy, insisting that there must be a major buildup of special operations forces, to wage a counterinsurgency war that will last for a decade or more. Petraeus described in graphic detail, how such war must be fought, village by village, because, unlike Iraq, Afghanistan has no real central government. Petraeus proposed that, with U.S. troop strength in Iraq scheduled to be reduced from the current level of 120,000 to 50,000 by August 2010, many of those soldiers can be redeployed to Afghanistan. Petraeus claimed that he had the full commitment of Defense Secretary Robert Gates to expand the size of the special operations forces, to meet the Afghan requirements.

The Petraeus interview will undoubtedly send President Obama through the ceiling. According to sources close to the White House, the President went berserk after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's announcement on Nov. 28 that he would be convening a London conference on Jan. 28, 2010, to set forth a "political" strategy for withdrawing foreign forces from Afghanistan—a clear slap at Obama, who has been building up for his West Point speech. No one, especially a narcissist like Obama, enjoys being upstaged, particularly, at a moment when support for his Presidency is tanking. And, from the other side of the pond, Queen Elizabeth II, herself, declared at the Commonwealth heads of state meeting in Trinidad and Tobago on Nov. 27, that it is time for the Commonwealth to emerge from the shadows and assert global leadership in its own name. That was tantamount to a political kiss of death for Obama from the British Royals.

Congressional Dems Cautious on Funding Obama's Afghan War

Nov. 27 (EIRNS)—Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, led a delegation composed mostly of members of the Appropriations Committee, to Afghanistan and the Middle East earlier this week, which met with Gen. Stanley McCrystal and Amb. Karl Eikenberry. Murtha's opposition to a military escalation in Afghanistan is well-known: Recently, he told The Hill that he does not see an "achievable goal" in Afghanistan. "I do not see a strategy and how we can measure it," he said.

Meanwhile, The Hill also reports that Senate Appropriations Committee head Daniel Inouye (D-Hi.) wants any more Afghanistan war funds to be "fully considered and debated" by the Senate and House Armed Services Committees (the authorizing committees)—which, The Hill notes, is likely to trigger a divisive Congressional debate over Afghanistan policy. The authorizing committees have already approved $130 billion in overseas contingency funds as part of the 2010 defense authorization. The Senate and House are now negotiating the final 2010 bill. Inouye says any additional funding will have to be debated by the committees "unless you want us to be a rubber stamp," adding, "I was not elected for that."

Lyndon LaRouche commented that the initiatives of Murtha and Inouye represent a voice of sanity in a madhouse.

Is Obama's Bioethics Commission from the Planet of the Apes?

Nov. 25 (EIRNS)—The composition of the new Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, announced by President Obama on Nov. 24, suggests that it will be another center of British genocide policy in the Administration. Its appointed leadership has credentials that suggest it comes from the Planet of the Apes.

Named to head the Commission is Amy Guttmann, currently president of the University of Pennsylvania. Guttmann came to Penn in 2004 from Princeton, where she was the founding director of the University Center for Human Values. What a misnomer! The center was established by Laurence Rockefeller in 1990, to advance his agenda of "conservation" and environmentalism, which included his affiliation with Prince Philip's genocidal World Wildlife Find and the Environmental Defense Fund. During her tenure as head of the Center, Guttmann supervised the search for someone to fill the Bioethics chair, and came up with the euthanasia-promoter, apes-are-more-human-than-people Peter Singer. In the uproar that followed Singer's appointment, Guttmann defended him by saying, as reported in the New York Times April 10, 1999, "the letters said there was nobody better in the world than Singer." What then can we expect of Guttmann, who is now charged with supervising the ethics of scientific research, health-care delivery, and technological innovation?

Guttmann's number two will be Dr. James Wagner, currently head of Emory University. While no direct connection has yet been established, it should be noted that Emory is the home of the renowned Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Opposition Grows to Administration Attack on Mammograms

Nov. 24 (EIRNS)—A new Gallup/USA Today poll of women 35-75 years of age found that 76% of these women Strongly Disapprove (47%) and Disapprove (29%) of the recent Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) study that says mammograms are "unnecessary" before age 50—while admitting that screening saves lives.

The poll also shows that American women believe the Obama Administration is putting money above human life. Asked if the study was based on a "fair assessment of risks" or the potential for "cost savings," 76% answered "cost savings," while only 16% believe the study had a scientific basis. And for women aged 49 and under, 84% plan to have their next mammogram before the age of 50. Since the report came out, "thousands and thousands and thousands" of women have become activated against this atrocity, reported Nancy Brinker, a breast cancer survivor, and founder of the organization "Race for the Cure," after her sister died of breast cancer.

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