Monday, July 17, 2006

CNN Offbeat Images
Posted by Picasa

Mexican Pres. Election

"I realized that my country and its people were different than I thought they were."

Boondoogle in Reconstuction in Iraq

[political-research] Digest Number 1295

Messages In This Digest (2 Messages)




Posted by: "Sean McBride" smcbride2

Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:38 am (PST)

The neocons believe this is World War III because they have been plotting to instigate World War III for several decades now, all on behalf of Israel. The neocons and their Christian Zionist allies are quite willing to destroy the United States and even the entire planet on behalf of the worst extremists in the Zionist world. When the dust clears, they are going to be held in lower esteem than even Nazis and Communists.

eebeeb2004 <> wrote: + This was the statement of the former Speaker of the House on
NBC's "Meet the Press" just after 8am today (PDT). He was one of the
foremost architects of the "trickle-down" theory of economics which,
since the 1980s, has been used to help destroy the U.S. middle class
and magnify the wealth and power of the oligarchy running this
country. He has been all along an AIPAC puppet, and with this
statement has laid bare the Zionist objective of fanning the flames of
a catastrophic final showdown in the Middle East.


The Problem with Messianic Ethnic Nationalism

Posted by: "Sean McBride" smcbride2

Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:47 am (PST)

The problem with messianic ethnic nationalism:

Not only is one's particular messianic ethnic nationalism likely to be uninteresting to ethnic outsiders, but it is probably going to be extremely annoying and possibly even provoke violent responses.

Most of us, when we choose to be messianic ethnic nationalists, focus on the interests of our own ethnic groups, not on those of others.

How crazy, how autistic, how oblivious to the operations of the real world, would one have to be to put one's ethnic nationalist emotions front and center in one's dealings with ethnic outsiders?

And this isn't even the half of it....

What could be behind this story?

"The Hand That Feeds the Fire" Mideast Situation

Bloglines - Israel Kills Children in Convoy Bombing; Dozens De...

Informed Comment
Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion

Juan Cole is President of the Global Americana Institute

Israel Kills Children in Convoy Bombing; Dozens De...

By Juan

Israel Kills Children in Convoy Bombing; Dozens Dead;
Hizbullah bombs Akka, Haifa; Wounds, Kills Civilians

The Guardian reports of Israeli's continued war of attrition on Lebanon on Saturday:

' Israel steeply escalated its military campaign against Hizbollah in Lebanon yesterday with a series of air strikes that left more than 35 civilians dead, including a single strike on a convoy of families fleeing the fighting in a village near Tyre in the south of the country that killed more than 20 people, most of them children. '

Graphic pictures of dead Lebanese children are at Angry Arab's site.

Israeli warplanes bombed Lebanese civilian neighborhoods in southern Beirut again, killing non-combatants, and hitting an electricity plant. They also targeted Lebanon's ports, including the port of a Christian area, and hit Tripoli in the north.

Aljazeera reported early Sunday morning that Hizbullah is officially denying that its leader Shaikh Hasan Nasrullah, was wounded in an Israeli airstrike on a party HQ.

The channel also reported from Haifa and Akka that Hizbullah was bombarding both of those cities Sunday morning. Early reports gave 20 Israeli wounded and 6 killed according to Aljazeera's monitoring of Israeli radio. Aljazeera is showing videotape, presumably from Israeli television, of rockets landing in the heart of the city.

Lebanon charged that the US blocked a UN Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire. If so, it is contemptible.

Saad Hariri, leader of the reformist bloc in parliament, signalled Saturday that the Israeli policy of trying to get Lebanese to fight Lebanese (i.e. Sunnis, Maronites and Druze in the reform bloc should take on Hizbullah themselves, creating a new Lebanese civil war). Hariri insisted that national unity would come first.

The USG Open Source Center translates a broadcast on July 15 of Voice of Israel Network B:

' Commander of the Home Front Command Yitzhaq Gershon assesses that Tiberia and Haifa are not the most southerly targets Hizballah can hit. In a briefing by the Home Front Command, Major General Gershon also said that an exceptional opportunity has been created for the operational actions to achieve their aims. We are not prepared to return to the situation we faced over the past five years, he said. He added that most of the people wounded by katyushas did not carry out the orders of the Home Front Command . . .

In the afternoon, katyushas were fired at Zefat, Nahariyya, and Kabri. Nobody was hurt. Earlier, dozens of missiles were fired, and over 60 casualties arrived at the government hospital in Nahariyya from Karmi'el, Kisra, Ma'alot-Tarshiha, Peqi'in, Rama, Ben Ami, Majd-al-Kurum. Four were lightly hurt by shrapnel and ricochets, and the others suffered shock.

A senior military source said that at this stage, it would not be right to bring Syria into the battle. The Syrians are a negative element, but they are not the key to the solution. On the issue of the kidnapped soldiers, the senior source said that Israel's working assumption is that they alive. According to the source, Israel is ready for indirect dialogue with anybody, including one of the international elements not identified with the sides."

Despite the darkness of the moment, Gershon's comments are encouraging in several regards. Hizbullah's rocket attacks on civilian targets in Israel on Saturday did little damage, and most of those reported wounded seem to have been suffering from shock, though there were some light injuries from shrapnel. (Unfortunately, this picture changed on Sunday). Then, Gershon said it would be unwise to widen the war to Syria at this point. And, he said that the Israelis would talk indirectly to anyone.

More on what young Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said Friday about the Israeli attack on Lebanon.
' "Eyes are shedding tears, and the heart feels pain and sadness for our people in Lebanon due to the bombing, terror and clear aggression that the Zionist enemy conducts and that is shielded by a number of countries, including the United States," Sadr said in the statement. "Let it be known to everybody that we in Iraq will not sit by with folded hands before the creep of Zionism," the statement continued. "It will enslave us if we keep silent."

The Nation points to the illogic of the Bush administration in having pushed Syria out of Lebanon and now demanding that it rein in Hizbullah. If Syria has been reduced to having almost no influence in Lebanon, how exactly would it do that?

5,000 Indonesians protested in downtown Jakarta on Saturday against Israeli military moves against Gaza and Lebanon.

Billmon analyzes the miserable corner into which the Israelis have painted themselves.

Bloglines - Liberal Says Not Enough Pro-Palestine News

Expose the Left
Monitoring and exposing liberal bias in the media and partisan politics on the left.

Liberal Says Not Enough Pro-Palestine News

By Ian on Liberal Hate

(via Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters)

In his latest piece at the Huffington Post, Eric Boehlert wrote there hasn’t been enough anti-Israel news on television. Boehlert is one of those fools who think that the press has a pro-Bush bias, and he wrote a book about it too, Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over For Bush. He’s deranged, we have that down pat, but now we know he is also an anti-Semite:

I was surprised yesterday afternoon when a Reuters article popped onto my computer screen reporting that 53 Lebanese civilians had been killed by Israeli forces, part of the suddenly chaotic two-front battle Israel’s military is fighting in the Middle East. Surprised, because I had been monitoring the day’s events on CNN and hadn’t heard much about that kind of swelling Lebanese death toll.

Thanks to CNN, I’d learned that Israeli forces had bombed Beirut International Airport and a blockade was in place to cut off Lebanon’s ports, that president Bush announced Israel had the right to defend herself, that Hezbollah had fired missiles into the seaside city of Haifa, and that an Israeli woman in Nahariya had been killed amidst the cross-border violence. But I hadn’t learned many details about the more than four dozen civilians in Lebanon being killed, a fact that struck me as central to the unfolding story.

Read the rest of his anti-Israel article; it’s quite the disgusting one.

If there is any party that makes Jews feel uncomfortable, it would be the Democrats.


Bloglines - Hundreds of Palestinian 'suspects' have been kidnapped from their homes and will never stand trial


Hundreds of Palestinian 'suspects' have been kidnapped from their homes and will never stand trial

Look who's been kidnapped!

Arik Diamant

It's the wee hours of the morning, still dark outside. A guerilla force comes out of nowhere to kidnap a soldier. After hours of careful movement, the force reaches its target, and the ambush is on! In seconds, the soldier finds himself looking down the barrel of a rifle.

A smash in the face with the butt of the gun and the soldier falls to the ground, bleeding. The kidnappers pick him up, quickly tie his hands and blindfold him, and disappear into the night.

This might be the end of the kidnapping, but the nightmare has just begun. The soldier's mother collapses, his father prays. His commanding officers promise to do everything they can to get him back, his comrades swear revenge. An entire nation is up-in-arms, writing in pain and worry.

Nobody knows how the soldier is: Is he hurt? Do his captors give him even a minimum of human decency, or are they torturing him to death by trampling his honor? The worst sort of suffering is not knowing. Will he come home? And if so, when? And in what condition? Can anyone remain apathetic in the light of such drama?

Israeli terror

This description, you'll be surprised to know, has nothing to do with the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. It is the story of an arrest I carried out as an IDF soldier, in the Nablus casbah, about 10 years ago. The "soldier" was a 17-year-old boy, and we kidnapped him because he knew "someone" who had done "something."

We brought him tied up, with a burlap sac over his head, to a Shin Bet interrogation center known as "Scream Hill" (at the time we thought it was funny). There, the prisoner was beaten, violently shaken and sleep deprived for weeks or months. Who knows.

No one wrote about it in the paper. European diplomats were not called to help him. After all, there was nothing out of the ordinary about the kidnapping of this Palestinian kid. Over the 40 years of occupation we have kidnapped thousands of people, exactly like Gilad Shalit was captured: Threatened by a gun, beaten mercilessly, with no judge or jury, or witnesses, and without providing the family with any information about the captive.

When the Palestinians do this, we call it "terror." When we do it, we work overtime to whitewash the atrocity.


Some people will say: The IDF doesn't "just" kidnap. These people are "suspects." There is no more perverse lie than this. In all the years I served, I reached one simple conclusion: What makes a "suspect"? Who, exactly suspects him, and of what?

Who has the right to sentence a 17-year-old to kidnapping, torture and possible death? A 26-year-old Shin Bet interrogator? A 46-year-old one? Do these people have any higher education, apart from the ability to interrogate? What are his considerations? I all these "suspects" are so guilty, why not bring them to trial?

Anyone who believes that despite the lack of transparency, the IDF and Shin Bet to their best to minimize violations of human rights is naïve, if not brainwashed. One need only read the testimonies of soldiers who have carried out administrative detentions to be convinced of the depth of the immorality of our actions in the territories.

To this very day, there are hundreds of prisoners rotting in Shin Bet prisons and dungeons, people who have never been –and never will be – tried. And Israelis are silently resolved to this phenomenon.

Israeli responsibility

The day Gilad Shalit was kidnapped I rode in a taxi. The driver told me we must go into Gaza, start shooting people one-by-one, until someone breaks and returns the hostage. It isn't clear that such an operation would bring Gilad back alive.

Instead of getting dragged into terrorist responses, as Palestinian society has done, we should release some of the soldiers and civilians we have kidnapped. This is appropriate, right, and could bring about an air of reconciliation in the territories.

Hell, if this is what will bring Gilad home safe-and-sound, we have a responsibility to him to do it.

Arik Diamant is an IDF reservist and the head of the Courage to Refuse organization,2506,L-3271505,00.html


Bloglines - When retribution comes, don't cry for Israel


When retribution comes, don't cry for Israel

When retribution comes, don't cry for Israel

HARDLY a voice is raised in protest. Not a tear is shed by those who would otherwise howl "bloody murder" when one Israeli is killed by a Palestinian. Those who wanted to crucify Iran's President Ahmadinejad for his statement that the state of Israel should not be allowed to exist are silent as the Zionist warmongers inflict terror and wanton destruction in the Gaza, on the West Bank, and now in sovereign Lebanon. But when retribution comes, as it must, we are sure to hear them scream from every which country about "those sub-human terrorists".

This has never been a just world, and I imagine it never will be. One American life has always been worth 1,000 or more of lesser mortals. In days of old, one British life had similar, disproportionate value: if African slaves so much as hurt one "massa", scores of their brethren would pay with their lives, but not before they were tortured in the most horrible manner. Today, what we are witnessing as Israel wields the Zionist hammer on its hapless neighbours is apartheid with full fury, military might that is always right, and a world, including Arab and Islamic countries, that will heartlessly turn their eyes in another direction, not to add, in the case of Muslims, their cheeks to be slapped and bludgeoned repeatedly.

For those who may not have noticed the carnage, ever since Ehud Olmert succeeded the ailing Ariel Sharon, and Hamas won the elections in Palestine, Israel has become ten times as murderous as it has ever been. To dwell a little on Hamas, bear in mind that it was George Bush who called for democracy across the world (as I write, he has gone off to visit Russia with the same message to President Putin).

When free elections were held in Palestine and Hamas defeated the PLO to take power, Israel immediately withheld huge sums of money it collects on behalf of the Palestinian government. As if that was not bad enough, it proceeded to bomb at will wherever it pleased in the tiny, impoverished state. Its air force killed an entire family that was picnicking on a beach off the Red Sea. It repeatedly murdered civilians across the Gaza and the West Bank under the guise that it was targeting "terrorists".

Lashing back the only way they know, some elements among the Palestinians burrowed under the border, attacked a military outpost, killed a few Israeli soldiers, and captured one. Well, as Trinis would say, who tell them to do that? Olmert immediately massed tanks on the border and started shelling "terrorist" targets in Palestine. His forces then invaded and besides killing an untold number of civilians, children included, proceeded to arrest half of Hamas's Cabinet. Israel arrogated unto itself the right to dismember another country's government. A parallel would- be Hugo Chavez sending his forces into Port of Spain and besides flattening most of the city, making off with Prime Minister Manning and half of his Cabinet.

To add jet fuel to a fire that is sure to engulf the entire Mid-East, this rogue state deployed its forces to isolate Lebanon, bomb the country's only airport, lay siege to its main harbour.

As I write, the carnage in Lebanon continues: scores of civilians, including entire families, are being murdered at will, and Olmert tells the visiting Japanese Prime Minister: "Those responsible for the attack (three Israeli soldiers captured thus far) will pay a high and painful price." The EU issues a feeble statement, criticising (not condemning) the "disproportionate use of force". Bush says: "Israel has a right to defend its territory against terrorists." The Arab world is silent. Even Iran stays quiet, although I suspect in the latter instance, this is deliberate.

Of course Israel, heavily funded by the US, has the most powerful military in the Mid-East, nuclear arsenal included. But its terrorist leaders (and I write with authority here) seem to have learnt little from their own history, their scriptures. Remember the story of David and Goliath?

Ahhhh! Even superpowers have to account to a higher authority for their unbridled cruelty to human beings. And not even their military might will save them when retribution strikes. They don't know from which direction it will come. They are looking at Iran and Ahmadinejad. But the biblical David did not have the might of Goliath: he did not need it. When his people were threatened by an inordinately stronger enemy, he took the giant out with a slingshot.

So while Bush and Olmert and all the warmongers look to Iran, they may well be surprised at the direction from which their demise comes, this Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse. History has shown that whenever power becomes a tool of repression, of absolute inhumanity, all-conquering empires implode. Israel-and America-may never learn from history, just as Rome didn't, or Hitler. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to being consumed by its lessons.


Bloglines - Novak now says he lied about Plame


Novak now says he lied about Plame

Novak Recants on Newsday and a Whole Bunch More…

MTP-Novak.jpg There are so many falsehoods that I’ll continue to update this post.

Video-WMP Video-QT later (Transcript not yet available)

I just started watching Novak on MTP. Novak just told Tim Russert that he misspoke in his Newsday interview about how he found out Valerie Plame’s name. He attributed it to being an interviewer and not usually on the other end, but on Hannity and Colmes he blamed Newsday:

NOVAK: Well, that was a misstatement. That was an interview I did on the telephone with "Newsday" shortly after it appeared. Some of the things that they said that quoted me that are not in quotes are paraphrases, and they’re incorrect, such as the whole idea that they planted this story with me. I never told that to the "Newsday" reporters.

Russert then told him that he said on MTP previously that the administration had given him Valerie Plame’s name. Novak said he was mistaken again. Hmmm… He then says that Bill Harlow doesn’t remember things accurately. When Russert pressures him, Bob says he doesn’t like being a commentator. Wasn’t he on CNN for like twenty years being just that?

Novak said he was curious about Joe Wilson because Wilson hardly spent any time in Africa and he wanted to investigate.

Joe Wilson served in Africa for about 15 years and in Washington on African Affairs for another two, including as Senior Director for Africa at the National Security Council. After that he made three trips to Niger to help that country move the military coup leaders back to the barracks.

Just another lie on Novak’s part and that was why Wilson was a smart choice to go to Niger. It’s called experience. Remember, Joe faced down Saddam right before the first Gulf war and saved American lives doing so.

Christy fills out some of the garbage Novak tries to spin: "Don’t Blame Me"

Other bloggers: e-mail me when you catch more of Novak’s inconsistencies.


Bloglines - Praise The Washington Post. It Lifts Up Walt/Mearsheimer (Then Tries to Bash Them)


Praise The Washington Post. It Lifts Up Walt/Mearsheimer (Then Tries to Bash Them)

FILE UNDER: Journalism, U.S. Policy in the Mideast

The Washington Post today today has the courage to run a cover article in its magazine with the question, "Does the Israel Lobby Have Too Much Power?" Hats off to the Post! It has done what real journalists should have been doing for the last 20 years, and confronted the question head on. The achievement of course is not fully the Post's: the newspaper can tee up the question only because of the bravery of Walt and Mearsheimer in publishing their bombshell paper. Which they did overseas of course, three months ago. In London. After it was killed here. The refugee issue is finally being allowed to visit. Not to move home, though.

Unfortunately, the Post's article by Glenn Frankel is defensive and scattered, at times disgraceful. To its credit, it states that President George H.W. Bush lost his presidency in 1992 in part because of his opposition to the Israel lobby. And revisits some other scalps claimed by the lobby. Back when. It is always much easier to talk about power grabs of 15 years ago!

But when it comes to the neoconservative putsch in the George W. Bush administration and the concerns for Israel's security as a motivator for the Iraq War plans, the article is shameless. It allows someone to call these assertions "preposterous"—"associating Israel with the noeconservatives on [Iraq] is preposterous." The article does not consider even one link in the intellectual chain of events between Saddam's aggression against Israel in 1991 and the neocons' rejection of the peace process in the 90s and the neocons' identification of Saddam as a new Hitler by '98 and their burgeoning (and horrendously-misguided) belief that peace in Palestine required democratizing the Mideast, starting in Baghdad. It does not explore for an instant Doug Feith's personal commitment to Israel. Or Bush aide Elliott Abrams's—Abrams who says that Jews are strangers in every land but in Israel. Those are mere facts. Whether they play a large role in the war policymaking, or a negligible role, is a judgment question. Still, they must be acknowledged. The article meantime shows its hand by repeatedly describing Walt and Mearsheimer's assertions as "claims" and allowing their critics to hint that they are anti-Semites.

In that connection, the emotional one, Frankel's article does one very fine thing. It brings up the "psychological" aspect of the lobby, its false understanding of the Jewish community as powerless. Frankel quotes the great Henry Siegman on this fascinating question:

"There's a certain dynamic to organized Jewish life as to all so-called defense organizations created to protect a supposedly vulnerable group," says Henry Siegman, who once served as executive director of the American Jewish Congress and now directs the U.S./Middle East project at the Council of Foreign Relations. "It creates a culture of victimhood, and it often attracts people who feel like they're victims as well."

That is a real journalistic achievement. (And that sense of victimization explains the smears of Walt and Mearsheimer.)

This ball won't stop rolling. Just now on C-Span's Washington Journal the Israel Ambassador, Daniel Ayalon, was shown the Post article and asked to comment.

He said that the Israel lobby was just like countless other lobbies. "The gun lobby... the Italian lobby." But singling out the Israel lobby as somehow important "smacks of something else." I.e., antisemitism.

That fearsome Italian lobby! When even Alan Dershowitz calls the lobby, "perhaps the most effective lobbying and fund-raising effort in the history of democracy."

The exciting thing about this moment in American politics is that the issue of the power of the Israel lobby has been raised too urgently by events in too many quarters to be suppressed. It's in the Lamont-Lieberman race, it's in the Iran standoff, it's in the White House's support of Israel's refusal to talk to Hamas, it's in Iraq, it's in 9/11. The lobby's response to the question of its power has been defensive and often insulting to American intelligence: let's talk about the Italian lobby. Or dissembling, as when the Forward reported that rightwing Jewish leaders ADL%20on%20Iran%20from%20Forward">privately told the White House to stop talking about Israel's interest when it discussed Iran's nuclear weapons. We have enough trouble with people blaming Iraq on us! These things should be openly discussed: maybe the American people will conclude that American and Israel interests actually are congruent on Iran...

The truth is that the lobby fears discussing this. They fear, per Siegman's victimization analysis, that the American people will abandon Israel. They fear that Americans will reach the conclusion that Chris Matthews reached a few weeks back, dismissing the special relationship with Israel:

MATTHEWS: What had [Saddam] done against us? VIN WEBER: He invaded Kuwait. He attacked Israel. They're our friends, our allies. MATTHEWS: So we go to war with countries in the Middle East because they fight with each other. We'll have war forever. We will never be out of fighting wars.

The alternative to discussion is lying about the Israel lobby's power—let's talk about the Italian lobby!—and it is dangerous. I learned this years ago from the political seer/troublemaker Lucianne Goldberg, when we were briefly wearing the same uniforms during the Clinton scandals. Lucianne liked to say that when Clinton lied about the Monica Lewinsky question in January '98 (the I did not have sex with that woman moment), "he drank the Strontium 90." He could go along looking healthy and great for a while, but the damage had been done. The process might take years to unfold, she said, but it would do him in. The question was too important (at that buoyant time, anyway), the lie too big. And she's right: the word "impeachment" will be in the first paragraph of Bill's obituary, and Monica's going down in history.

Calling Walt and Mearsheimer antisemites, saying they've destroyed their careers, saying neocons had no Israel interest in pushing the Iraq war, saying that the lobby is no more powerful than the Italian lobby: these are falsehoods designed to mislead and baffle. But as the Post demonstrated today, the question is not going away.

Posted by Phil on July 16, 2006 11:09 AM |


Bloglines - PlameGate: Novak Repeats the Aldrich Ames Canard

Angry Bear
Slightly left of center economic commentary on news, politics, and the economy.

PlameGate: Novak Repeats the Aldrich Ames Canard


Christy covered Robert Novak’s latest dissembling on Meet the Press. Given the fact that Russert was running the interview, Novak felt free to lie whenever it served his purposes. The last part of the interview was reported by Christy thusly: Novak says he doesn’t think he outed Valerie – thinks Aldrich Ames did so previously. [CHS: There are so many things wrong with that statement, starting