Friday, August 14, 2009

The Health Care Unplanning of the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal is flying colors again attacking Health Care Reform. The fact that factions like the WSJ, the Insurance Lobby, and the Republican Party are attacking President Obama is because he is leading the change. This is 2009. America just voted for change, and now we have all the unhappy factions wishing they could turn back the clock and using any means necessary to try to "make it so".

Of course the changes include things like better care and service for the elderly, based on medical reports on what the elderly actually want and need. Well, let’s scare them out of wanting these changes; that should be easy! All we have to do is convince them that if they get better care, it will have to be rationed. Of course – what a stroke of genius! Because they really don't deserve the care, do they? No American does. We'll just make it look like striving for a better health care system, is like striving for a better nation, it can only make things worse!

This is the "common sense" of the WSJ and the factions. We are not into scare tactics! We are the Responsible Press, and the Conservative Responsible Republican Party! They are the Usurpers. We should not allow them to improve the lives of anyone, and how dare they save the economy! Did we ask them to? Hell no! The presumptiousness of limiting CEO salaries and bonuses! We will nip this Obama problem in the bud – by any means necessary!

We will tell people that the reformers are using too many non-political entities to control health care, and then write an editorial explaining that government control of health care means that the government must pay for health care. No matter how many safeguards are built into the system, we will insist that the government will rule with an iron hand, regardless if this is true for most other nations with government run plans. We will insist that because this is America, a large nation, we will fail if we rationalize any part of our economy! We are Republicans and we are smart and we know that stuff!

As the article mentions, Obama points out that an alarming amount of rationing is occurring in America today. The WSJ counters that restriction occurs in European Universal Health Care countries. The only difference must be that their babies and seniors aren’t dying as much as ours do. This fact alone should prove that even if there is some rationing in those countries it is not done as randomly as it occurs here.

The WSJ and the factions cherrypick facts to make foreign plans and Medicare look bad.: The French have limited CT-SCAN’s and MRI’s, without mentioning that they are limited throughout Europe for HEALTH REASONS. Medicare doesn’t pay for Virtual Colonoscopies, without mentioning that VC’s, while attractive to patients, are not the prefered procedure. Why in this issue is the WSJ a complete source of misinformation? And then, the coup de gras, the WSJ plays dumb, mentioning that Medicare cost is growing, one of the main indicators driving reform, and proposes that we fix it instead, by offering competitive plans (instead of repairing delivery, as President Obama proposes). Medicare already has competitive plans, but the plans offered by the insurance companies cost both, the seniors and the taxpayers much more than the option offered by government.

The final accusation, aimed partially at AARP, is made to sound like a indictment on all health care reform based on the fact that a publicly finianced Health Care component is part of President Obama’s system. But Medicare already is, and must continue to be, a publicly financed component, and the WSJ won’t explain why it is that Medicare recipients have the most hassle –free service in the U.S. today. I guess this would have something to do with not wanting reform, not wanting public anything, not even roads and drinking fountains, and being so complacent with the status quo and whatever the distribution of wealth happens to be at this moment in time, that any improvements leading to a better society had better be avoided like the plague.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reply to WSJ Why U.S. Diplomacy Will Fail With Iran

This is my comment on Why U.S. Diplomacy Will Fail With Iran by Edward N. Luttwak.

Edward Luttwak doesn’t miss a beat here in relating all of Iran’s politics, history and policies to the US and Israel. Neither does he fail us for an instance in imagining that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s political dominance in many areas of Iraq could not be overwhelming, even aginst a strident, naive, psuedo-reformist opponent such as Mir-Hossein Mousavi. What all this right-wing analysis so au current in the press fails to appreciate is that while Mousavi is well to the left of Ahmadinejad is several respects, his positions are much less acceptable to the dominant right wing of Iran’s clergy than even Ahmadinejad’s, who is also seen by them as a potentially dangerous progressive. Another weakness in this analysis is that neither Mohammad Khatami nor Ahmadinejad were “chosen” by Ayatollah Khameni, as Mr. Luttwak alledges. Regardless of their strict control of media and the police, the fact is the Iranian clergy are still operating a type of theocratic democracy, no matter how lunatic it may appear to outsiders in love with their own democratic systems.

Add into the mix, Mr. Luttwak’s complete historical reinvention of the details of Operation Ajax, the incredible coup against Mohammed Mosaddeq in 1953, and you have seen the value the neoconservative movement in America today. What we have here is exactly the view that Iran is anti-American, and anti-Israel, because, well, they’re bad, instead of recognizing that Iran is possibly, and continues to be, the the number one victim of America’s continuing plots to control it and many other countries in the middle east, and the recipient of continuing threats from Israel, a country well-known for its clashes with bordering peoples and military surgical strikes against “common enemies”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that America is “bad” either - it’s just that all belligerent countries are considered badly by their opposing belligerent countries. The main implied assertion by Luttwak that Iran “needs” the US to be an enemy is not at all substatiated: Remember when we were all “Imperialists”, and how quickly that changed once dialogue became possible?

I think I can do Mr. Luttwak one better in his analysis of the 2009 elections. Mir-Hossein Mousavi is, as we know, an old hand in Iranian politics, having served as prime minister of an almost completely totalitarian government from 1981 to 1989. The fact that he was available to oppose the phlegmatic and problematic Mr. Ahmadinejad in 2009 shows strong signs of being an “inside job”. The fact that he was allowed to stay under house arrest and maintain claims of election racketeering and stir up dissent on his website while 3,000 of his supporters were arrested, and in many cases, tortured or abused, also looks very fishy. It is still not clear whether he himself will be charged by his old cronies.

Mr. Luttwak wants to return to the good old days of sanctions, threats, and even better, nevertheless he doesn’t take into account is that our perception of Iran is based on our own sociological assumptions about their role in the world, based in turn, here, on the neoconservative world view. What is much superior, is Mr. Obama’s position of staying open to dialogue, and possibly achieve important gains for the Iranian people and ourselves. Even if Iran’s plans to develop nuclear energy are countered prematurely by Israel, or a combination of Israel and America, Iran will not suffer; it will, like Hezbollah, merely impose on its opponent whatever it perceives as a necessary countermeasure, damaging our interests, and sink back into the anti-American, anti-Israel morass it is in even deeper. This is the nature of limited war and sanctions: The opponent never really gets to change their position and appears to be the eternal enemy. Barack Obama’s Iran policy is the exact opposite and carries the possibility of transformation.