Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rob Anderson is good for the Jews

DISTRICTS 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9
& 11

Name: Rob Anderson
District: 5

Please return this questionnaire to Igor Lotsvin at no later than Saturday, August 16th, 2008. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact Igor Lotsvin at (415) 254-8158 or (415) 699-4376.

Only Democratic Party candidates who complete this questionnaire and return it by the deadline date will be welcomed to meet with the Raoul Wallenberg Jewish Democratic Club Political Action Committee (RWJDC PAC) on Sunday, August 24th, 2008. Your response to the questions below should be no more than three pages.

Thank you for participating in the RWJDC endorsement process!

1. Why are you running for the Board of Supervisors and what do you hope to accomplish if elected?
I'm concerned about the ongoing problem of homelessness in SF. Mayor Newsom has made a good beginning in dealing with the issue with Care Not Cash, Homeward Bound, supportive housing, and Project Homeless Connect. Then there's the city's shocking move toward residential highrises and overdeveloping our neighborhoods with projects like the Market/Octavia Plan and UC's appropriation of the property on lower Haight Street for a massive housing development (450 housing units on six acres). I am proud to be a party in the successful litigation that required the city to do an environmental impact review of the 527-page Bicycle Plan, the anti-car fantasy that would have redesigned our streets for a small minority of cyclists.

Like other city progressives, Supervisor Mirkarimi has been silent and unhelpful on the mayor's initiatives on homelessness. He also voted for the Rincon Hill highrises and supports the awful Market/Octavia Plan that rezones thousands of properties in the heart of the city to encourage housing density in an already densely-populated part of San Francisco, including four 40-story highrises at Market and Van Ness. Supervisor Mirkarimi is leading the way in the city's surrender to a predatory UC of property on Haight Street that has been zoned for "public use" for 150 years.

2. Is there anything, in your view, that sets you apart from the other candidates and/or particular reasons why you think the RWJDC should support your candidacy first and foremost?
See answer to #1 above.

3. What do you see as the top two or three most important responsibilities of the member of the Board of Supervisors?
The most important responsibility of a supervisor is to make and/or support policies that are good for the whole city.

4. What do you view as the two most important policy issues facing San Francisco (in the context of the role of the Board of Supervisors ) and how would you address these issues?
See answer to #1.

5. What, if any, policy issues do you consider as being of special concern to the Jewish community in the San Francisco Bay Area?

I don't think it's helpful in general for the city's voters to divide themselves on racial, ethnic, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc. lines. The Jewish community doesn't necessarily have more concern than other groups in the city about homelessness, development issues, and the bicycle fantasy.

But your community should know that Supervisor Mirkarimi is a typical San Francisco progressive in his lack of understanding of the war in Iraq---he unwisely favors immediate US withdrawal---where the United States is fighting against al Qaeda and other purveyors of a murderous Islamist ideology. Typically, Mirkarimi signed on to the extremist The World Can't Wait movement, which compares President Bush to Hitler and thinks the United States is moving toward fascism.

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At 5:20 PM, Anonymous herman is my handle said...

"But your community should know that Supervisor Mirkarimi is a typical San Francisco progressive in his lack of understanding of the war in Iraq---he unwisely favors immediate US withdrawal---where the United States is fighting against al Qaeda and other purveyors of a murderous Islamist ideology."

That's funny... I thought Al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan and Pakistan... you know, that place we successfully invaded, but then handed off to a bunch of understaffed and undermotivated NATO allies while we went off to invade unrelated other countries instead.

(In fact, I'm pretty sure that by any meaningful metric of what "Al-Qaeda" is -- a list of key persons, a financial network, a communications operation, a series of safe harbors in which operations are planned -- it is not in or even near Iraq. Unless of course it's on that Iraq-Pakistan border McCain was talking about...)

Leaving that unfortunate mixup aside though, I regret to inform you that the "lack of understanding of the war in Iraq" that you impute to the Murk is almost certainly shared by your pals at the Jewish Club. The last Annual Survey of Jewish Opinion showed that 67% of Jews nationwide think the US should have stayed out of Iraq to start with, and 76% think the war is going somewhat badly or very badly. They didn't poll the various withdrawal options (none of which are "immediate"), but given that 2/3rds say we shouldn't have gone in the first place, you can place your bets on how another four years of fun would poll. And that was a poll of Jews nationwide, not of the Bay Area, much less a Bay Area Democratic Club.

It sure is tough when all those voters lack understanding of the war in Iraq, isn't it? Just think of the irony: Rob Anderson is good for the Jews, but those pesky rascals, they just don't know it!

In fact, I'd even go so far as to say you're pearls before swine, but given the particulars of this case, I don't think that'd be kosher.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You're badly misinformed if you think al Qaeda isn't in Iraq. Tough for you anti-Americans to believe it, but Bush was actually right about the surge. True, he was also lucky in the timing, with the Sunni Awakening movement and the Shiite gangs also backing off. Still, the war against the homicidal/suicidal crackpots in Iraq is going a lot better than it was a year ago. I just thought it was worth pointing out that Mirkarimi signed on with a group that compared Bush to Hitler and wanted immediate withdrawal from Iraq, both fringe left positions.

At 12:29 AM, Anonymous herman is my handle said...

Ahhh, almost.

Bush wasn't "lucky with the timing," because it was not a matter of luck that the Sunnis quit fighting us in 07 and the Shiites started fighting each other at the same time.

What happened is that every actor in Iraq, as well as almost every actor in the US, saw the total end of public support for the war, the 06 election, and the initial Democratic lean of the 08 election, and saw that the US was leaving Iraq one way or other, and sooner rather than later. The actual debate on the war ended in November of 06, when the war cost the GOP both chambers of Congress. The fantasy of really winning the war, by pummelling any and all native challengers into total submission for as long as necessary, died that November when the public opinion polls of the entire year previous converted themselves into real election results. Since then, the downsizing and eventual end of the American presence has always been a matter of when, not if.

The surge was a stalling mechanism so that Bush himself wouldn't have to order the withdrawal, and so that Congressional Dems wouldn't have to force it by cutting the funding, which they desperately wanted to not have to do. The "stall" (as it should really be called) worked for both the Administration and the new majority, which didn't want to fuck up its strong lead for the 08 presidential with a funding fight, and so it was born. The Sunnis saw that their war against the US was won (no permanent US bases outside of maybe Kurdistan), so they turned their attention to their local enemies, the Shiites, and also the fanatic Saudi assholes ("Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia") who were provoking them. Specifically, they agreed to quit attacking the no-longer-relevant Americans, and promise to wipe out the Saudi assholes, in exchange for a bunch of money and heavy weaponry (which will be useful against the Shiites later, defense or offense). The Shiites saw that they were going to inherit the country, and had already cleansed Baghdad of Sunnis, so they turned to internal rivalries over which faction would lead the new government. The Kurds saw that we were leaving, so they locked in their physical control of Kirkuk (and its oil), created some facts on the ground, and hunkered down. (They're already armed to the teeth, and damn well-trained too.)

So basically, the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds are all currently getting ready for the day of our departure, which they know is imminent. At this point, everyone except John McCain knows it's imminent. James Baker and Brent Scowcroft, Powell and Bush's Dad... you don't even hear much out of Rice and Cheney anymore. Bush's own handpicked Iraqi PM, Maliki, said that Obama's timeline (meaning the Democrats' timeline, meaning the realists' timeline) is the correct one (Americans out by the end of 2010) and the one Iraqis are expecting. McCain is off on the moon with his "stay until victory, peace, and honor" crap; the war's already over, we lost, public support ended, we're leaving, and they're going to let us leave with a fig leaf of dignity (and maybe some oil contracts) so long as we DON'T pull a McCain and suddenly decide to stay 50 years anyway. The Iraqis have beat us once already (the real Iraqis, not these Saudi wannabes), and they'd do it again if a freak-accident President McCain forced them to. That Awakening and the Shiite truce would both unravel in a heartbeat if anyone over there seriously believed we were staying past 2011.


And I'm not particularly worked up about it, but it's obvious bullshit for you to call me an anti-American for anything I said in my first comment (or this one, but you were responding to the first one). That or I didn't realize that a realistic assessment of whether our foreign policy was working makes me anti-American.

Fortunately, I can console myself by noting that no matter how the question is worded, between 55 and 68% of the country agree with me that the war was a mistake, should not have been waged, was not worth it on balance, etc. So I guess a majority of America is anti-American. What a peculiar country this is.


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