Tuesday, July 18, 2006

As Church Lady might say: "Isn't That's Special"

Bloglines - "This is our war, too"

The Cat's Blog

"This is our war, too"

By The Cat's Dream

"This is our war, too" By Gabriele Zamparini How many babies has Israel slaughtered today? REUTERS reports:"An Israeli newspaper said Israel's offensive had so far destroyed a quarter of Hezbollah's fighting capabilities. [But the REUTERS continues] It has also killed 176 people and wounded more than 500, Lebanon's health ministry said. All but 13 of them were civilians. The dead include seven

Bloglines - Israeli Diplomat: All Arabs are Terrorists

Another Day in the Empire

Israeli Diplomat: All Arabs are Terrorists

By Administrator on Uncategorized

Imagine a member of the KKK going on the Bill O’Reilly show and declaring all African-Americans are shiftless crackheads. Imagine the outrage and calls for Fox News to be investigated for promoting racism and hatred. Now imagine an Israeli diplomat going on Bill O’Reilly’s show and declaring all Muslims are terrorists. In fact, this happened, and nobody is calling the diplomat, Dan Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, a racist or are there demands Fox News be investigated for promoting racism and hatred. In Bushzarro world, it is fine and dandy to characterize all Muslims as terrorists.

“While it is politically incorrect to say that all Muslims are terrorists, unfortunately, it’s true that all terrorists are Muslim,” Gillerman said on O’Reilly’s show yesterday, July 16.

I picked up this quote from a blog. It was not mentioned in the corporate media. A Google News search returned no results. Either the people who post at the Truth Will Set You Free blog made the quote up or Israelis spewing racist hatred is so common and acceptable nobody bothered to mention it.

Of course, when Iran’s Ahmadinejad says anything about Israel, it is front page news. In fact, so eager is the corporate media to demonize Ahmadinejad, it reprints distortions of his comments (Ahmadinejad never said Israel should be “wiped off the map,” as widely reported), which are then used to further rationalize “all Muslims are terrorists” comments.

As FAIR noted late last month, the starting point of all discussion in the corporate media about events in the Middle East begins with the assumption Arabs and Muslims are terrorists. For instance, in regard to the Palestinians:

If anything, what “hardly ever varies” is mainstream media’s adherence to an attack-retaliation formula that overwhelmingly places the blame on the Palestinian side, though in the ongoing cycle of attacks both sides usually describe their actions as retaliatory…. From the start of the Intifada in September 2000 through March 17, 2002, the three major networks’ nightly news shows used some variation of the word “retaliation” (”retaliated,” “will retaliate,” etc.) 150 times to describe attacks in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. About 79 percent of those references were to Israeli “retaliation” against Palestinians. Only 9 percent referred to Palestinian “retaliation” against Israelis. (Approximately 12 percent were ambiguous or referred to both sides simultaneously.)

A 2002 Glasgow University Media Group report revealed “that television news on the Israel/Palestinian conflict [in Britain] confuses viewers and substantially features Israeli government views…. There is a preponderance of official ‘Israeli perspectives’, particularly on BBC 1, where Israelis were interviewed or reported over twice as much as Palestinians. On top of this, US politicians who support Israel were very strongly featured…. TV news says almost nothing about the history or origins of the conflict.” In America, this bias even more pronounced.

Few television news viewers (or zombies) realize Israel invaded Lebanon in 1978 and 1982, or that Israel occupied southern Lebanon for more than twenty years and this brutal occupation (as documented by human rights organizations) resulted in the formation of Hezbollah.

Few understand Israel has stolen Arab land, including the Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms, and common Israeli border provocations result in Hezbollah attacking Israel.

Few understand the magnitude of Israel’s abduction of Lebanese, accused of resisting Israel’s illegal occupation, or the fact many of them were tortured in the Khiam torture dungeon. “Lebanese detainees held without trial or after expiry of their sentences in Israeli prisons and in Khiam are Israel’s forgotten hostages,” notes Amnesty International. “Amnesty International knows of 21 Lebanese nationals who have been captured in Lebanon and transferred to Israeli prisons either without ever having been sentenced or held beyond the expiry of their sentences. These are just some of the detainees whom Amnesty International believes Israel to be holding as hostages. Most of them were captured by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) or by one of the pro-Israeli Christian militias in Lebanon, the Lebanese Forces or the SLA. Many of them were held in detention centers in Lebanon under Lebanese Forces’ or SLA control before being transferred, usually secretly, to Israel.” No mention of this in the corporate media. Instead, we are told, without additional comment, all Muslims are terrorists.

No mention in the corporate media of Israel’s continual and repeated violations of Lebanese airspace. “Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon today called on Israel to cease its air violations over Lebanese territory,” the UN News Center reported on November 4, 2004. “Staffan de Mistura issued his statement in Beirut in response to eight flights involving 11 aircraft and three drones across the Blue Line, as the line of withdrawal is known.” Israel has violated Lebanese sovereignty dozens of time, buzzing Beirut, Tripoli, Tyre, and other cities, often using sonic booms to intimidate the population. Earlier this year Terje Roed-Larsen, the UN envoy to Middle East, complained of “constant Israel violations against Lebanon,” but such stories seem to be of interest only to the Arab media.

No mention of Israel’s violence around the illegally occupied Shebaa Farms. In response to Hezbollah attacking occupation forces at Shebaa Farms, Israel attacks civilians as a matter of course. “News reports in Beirut said that the Israeli forces started artillery bombardment of Kafer Shouba village and the neighboring villages after Hizbullah fighters fired one missile at a site for the Israeli occupation army in Shebaa farms,” the Arabic News reported in February. “The Israeli bombardment resulted in injuring one Lebanese woman and damages to several houses in al-Habareyah and al-Kheyam and in al-Habareyah elementary school. One house in Kafer Shouba was directly hit.” In November, 2005, “police explained that one Israeli military tank and artilleries bombarded for 45 minutes several Lebanese villages…. [and Hezbollah] retaliated the Israeli bombardment and fired mortars shelling at three Israeli positions in Shabaa Farms.” In October of the same year, the IOF attacked Burket al-Nakkar and Jabal Saddaneh with attack helicopters. Of course, all of this occurred on Lebanese soil, and yet Lebanon did not invade Israel or incinerate school kids on Israeli roads.

Instead, Fox News welcomes comments that all Muslims are terrorists and this feeds into the perception that killing innocent Lebanese civilians is justified because they allowed Hezbollah to capture Israeli prisoners of war. If we are to use such a yardstick, then Hezbollah attacks on Israel are completely justified, as Israel has taken Lebanese prisoners by the dozens, not because they have done anything but rather because they are considered “bargaining chips.”


How the MSM works....

FOXNews.com - Politics and the Middle East - Bill O’Reilly | The O’Reilly Factor

To be Continued... for now I'll say it's a magic act, a distraction, a form of mind control.

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Blogged with Flock

Hot Air Lives Up to Its Billing (Once Again)

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Cohen to Israel: You’re a mistake, and don’t you forget it

"Brian" shows his ability to stare reality in the face..... and deny it.

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Blogged with Flock

A blogger's blast at the embattled Connecticut senator. Hint: It's not just Iraq.

Agent Bassem Youssef

...struggling to build a force capable of conducting a long -term global war....

The American Thinker

Testimony to Congress about Army Strength

Blogged with Flock

Bloglines - Balloon Flower Magick

War On Suckers

Balloon Flower Magick

By War On Suckers

As Google wouldn't accept my previous upload of the WTC-7 opening ceremony coverage by the BBC. I decided to re-encode it and try again. While doing so I've noticed this unusual hand action that starts the mexican wave through the children who are surounding Jeff Koons Balloon Flower sculpture.

Even more unusual is the writing on a banner held by two of the children. Maybe someone recognizes these symbols from a language or perhaps these symbols can be found in The Book of the Law or similar book.

Although there were a lot of corporate media there, I haven't been able to find any other images of the banner and almost no mention of the ceremony.

Here is someone else who found the silence on this event deafening. Maybe there'll be more hoopla when the 1776 foot Freedom Tower is completed.

Here's another view on the Balloon Flower.

And it turns out to be just one of a series.

The Berlin Balloon Flower

It even comes in vinyl

Representing the four elements perhaps? The CNN piece on the 161 eleven thousand dollar Waterman pens, representing the four elements, was also May 23rd.

While some have described the sculpture as a big red cock, what exactly is a balloon flower?

Balloon Flower: "Native to China, eastern Siberia and Japan, this long-lived perennial is characterized by unopened flower buds that resemble small inflated balloons. Common names include, Balloon Flower or Chinese/Japanese Bellflower, which is derived from the unopened buds appearance. Blooming from June through August, the 5 petaled flowers open from buds that swells up like a balloon. As the buds mature, the balloon slowly expands, appearing as if it is going to burst. Once opened, the flowers are graceful, saucer-shaped stars which resemble Campanulas."

Maybe just a coincidence that the Koons balloon flower sitting inside the circle, at the new ground zero triangular park, has five petals just like a real balloon flower and that a real balloon flower looks like a five pointed star. A red five pointed star inside a circle>?

Whare Ra Pentagram Ritual - Page 18: "If thou desirest to invoke the forces of the Four Elements at once, at the four quarters, thou shalt commence at the East..."

It has also been brought to my attention that this May 23rd event was 111 days before the 5th year 911 anniversary.

There are also some other coincidences in the Art world.
Surealist exhibition featuring dada artist Alexander Calder from 6-11 through September 10, in the Target Gallery

Now to add to the bizarre collection of recent 1771 related numbers, here's another from a long disinfo honeypot mp3 that I just listened to. Meria Heller Show - 911 Whistleblower Richard Andrew Grove - May28-06.mp3 located here. I must be a sucker for punishment because I listened to the whole thing. At 122mins this guy gives his phone number "9 17 77 99215". Big deal! But then he says
"I've been working to crack the code that catalyzes the public mind". The CNN 1771 piece started with the headline "Cracking the Code". Just a coincidence perhaps?

Not to forget the BBC's 1771(5) item. It is starting to look like something is up between now and Sept 11 and I'm guessing it is July 17 based on 1771 days since 911, 161st 11 day cycle and moon phase. However 18th and 19th are also possibilities, depending on when the real start of the cycle is, not mention the 5th anniversary itself which is the 166th 11th day.


Bloglines - US says war on terror not governed by UN rights treaty

JURIST - Paper Chase
JURIST's legal news weblog, powered by a team of 20 law student reporters and editors led by Professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

US says war on terror not governed by UN rights treaty

By Joe Shaulis

[JURIST] Making the first US appearance before the UN Human Rights Committee [committee materials] in more than a decade, American officials on Monday defended their position that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [text] does not go

Bloglines - File Under "I Can't Believe This is Happening": The DOJ Arrests CEO of BetOnSports PLC While Changing Planes in Dallas

Business Law Economics & Society

File Under "I Can't Believe This is Happening": The DOJ Arrests CEO of BetOnSports PLC While Changing Planes in Dallas

By Christine Hurt

Growing up in Lubbock, the joke was that to get to heaven, you had to change planes in Dallas. Apparently, Dallas is also the gateway to H-E-double toothpicks if you are the CEO of a successful online sports betting site that is headquartered in the UK and traded on the LSE. On Sunday, the DOJ indicted three online betting sites and eleven individuals on charges of "racketeering, conspiracy and fraud." Enforcing the Wire Act against online gambling sites has many problems (although most substantive problems are not present with sports betting sites, as with online casinos), the jurisdictional hurdle was jumped by arresting David Carruthers, CEO of BetOnSports, while he was changing planes in DFW on his way to Costa Rica.

Now the puzzle is to figure out why now? Does this new energy on the part of the DOJ spring from the House passing H.R. 4411 last week?

So, my question is this: If millions of Americans are gambling online at offshore sites, why is this the problem of the offshore sites? Casinos in Monte Carlo or the Bahamas attract Americans to take vacations there and visit the casinos, but we don't arrest the owners of foreign casinos should they take a vacation here in the U.S. or change planes in our airports. Why is creating an online casino any different? Why is the burden on the online gambling site to keep Americans out? (Other than that burden being almost impossible to meet.)

Bush Administration Hypocrisy

It’s a given that presidents relish leaks to the news media when it serves their purposes, and that they act outraged at leaks that do not make them look good. But George W. Bush’s relativism on this score is like watching a roller coaster on acid.

CQPolitics.com - Craig Crawford: Indignation, Full of Holes

Blogged with Flock

Mellencamp told the Harveys casino crowd, in effect, that it was dedicated to everyone hurt by policies of the current Bush administration.

Bloglines - Vegas Sex Workers Demonstrate at Courthouse

Drudge Retort
Red Meat for Yellow Dogs

Vegas Sex Workers Demonstrate at Courthouse

LAS VEGAS - Strippers and hookers are trying to get some respect in Sin City. The so-called sex workers demonstrated yesterday on the steps of the courthouse in downtown Las Vegas. They're calling for more legal protection and decriminalization of the world's oldest profession.

Starchild, a 36-year-old former Army Reservist stood amid rallying sex workers in Las Vegas on Thursday and boasted of his bid for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

"And that ballot is going to say 'escort/exotic dancer,'" he said, beaming.

Protesting prostitutes, strippers and men and women of the night said they came to the downtown courthouse steps to try enable others like Starchild -- active advocates for sex workers. The group called for more respect and stronger legal protections for legal and illegal workers in the sex industry. They complained that a series of new antihuman trafficking laws restrict their freedom and called for the decriminalization of the world's oldest profession.

"No one here would say prostitution is good for everyone," said Elizabeth Nanas, 33, a former prostitute and sex worker advocate who organized the rally to cap off a three-day conference. "We're saying the attention and money should be spent on areas where there are problems."

Organizers said the conference, sponsored by the Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA, was the largest meeting of academics, advocates and prostitutes in nearly 10 years. On the agenda were discussions on police brutality, online organizing and a lecture about journalism for sex workers.

"Overall, the biggest issue was looking at criminalization policies and asking, are they doing anything to stop prostitution? Are they protecting and empowering women? Are they making our communities safer?" said Kate Hausbeck, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas sociology professor and advocate. "Are they improving the health, safety and well-being of prostitutes?"

The group met in a state in which 10 rural counties allow prostitution in 28 operating brothels.

But the nation's only legal bordellos aren't a model for advocates, said Priscilla Alexander, a 67-year-old activist with COYOTE, a sex workers' rights organization. Nevada brothels often hire women to work for just weeks at a time, require prostitutes to live on the premises and mandate costly STD tests too frequently, she said.

"Most sex workers don't want to work in those restrictive conditions," she said.

Alexander said sex workers' claims of rape and violence too often are ignored by police, and some departments use scant evidence, like carrying condoms, as cause for arrests.

But she said one of the most pressing threats to sex workers were antihuman trafficking laws passed on the federal and state level that can be interpreted as applying to strippers, dancers and escorts.

"Most human trafficking is not about sex work, it's about construction," Alexander said.

Federal officials say 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked to the United States a year; about 75 percent of federal prosecutions have involved sex trafficking.

"We just want the government off our backs," said Starchild, adding he used the conference to link up with other sex workers interested in restoring the "spirituality and dignity" the profession enjoyed in Elizabethan England.

"We're like courtesans," he said.

Hausbeck acknowledged that the political climate may not be ripe for a mass decriminalization movement.

But she and other advocates won the sympathy of 76-year-old Mary Ellen Hopkins, a quilting expert who held a seminar in the conference room next to the sex workers' meeting.

Hopkins said she and the quilters at first laughed at their neighbors and then listened to their arguments. She ended up outside the courthouse addressing reporters in front of a banner reading, "Support your local sex worker."

"I think it's better to legalize it," she said. "If you legalize it, maybe you'll get rid of all the ugly stuff that comes with it."


Bloglines - Ezra has a point on Bush and his remark about Syria

Crooks and Liars
John Amato's Virtual Online Magazine

Ezra has a point on Bush and his remark about Syria

By John Amato on Bush

Bush-Blair-Syria.jpg Ezra says the press missed a golden opportunity to understand Bush’s real position on this crisis.

Video-WMP Video -QT (.42) This is the clip he is referring to..(The video is still loading on the server-give it 5 minutes)

Bush: What they need to do is get Syria to get Hizbollah to stop doing this shit, and it’s over…

Given the relative opacity of Bush’s thoughts on the situation, the frank discussion offered a fair amount of insight and a couple nuggets of news, including that he was going to send Condi to the region (or possibly the UN — but she’s going somewhere to deal with this), that he blamed neither Israel nor Lebanon for the violence, and that "the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it’s over." That’s a big deal: Bush believes it within the Syrian government’s power to calm the conflict. Theoretically, that should have major implications for American diplomacy and, possibly, policy…read on

On Democracy Now, Amy Goodman has a discussion with As’ad AbuKhalil, a Lebanese professor of political science at California State University and Chris Hedges, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. You can listen to the audio here

Juan Cole: It is a little window into the superficial, one-sided mind of the man, who has for six years been way out of his depth. I come away from it shaken and trembling


Bloglines - Will Condi Rice Finds Reverse Domino Effect Theory to be Grotesque?

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

Will Condi Rice Finds Reverse Domino Effect Theory to be Grotesque?


On the Neiman Watchdog we see Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (Ret.) writing this:

Cheney has it exactly backwards. Our continued entanglement is what is destabilizing the region. The escalating conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and Hamas could become a new Arab-Israeli War. And it is precisely our actions in Iraq that have opened the door for Iran and Syria to support Hezbollah and Hamas actions without much to fear from the U.S. Cheney’s assertion is a new version of the old domino theory which was invented to justify the U.S. military involvement in Vietnam ... the larger U.S. aim, the containment of China, was achieved, in spite of the United States, by Soviet and North Vietnamese actions against China. And the dire consequences of the domino theory that were so widely proclaimed by hawks at the time never came to pass. We should have learned a number of things from the Vietnam War, but most of all that unintended consequences are often the most significant outcomes. Our well-intended policies in Vietnam soon rendered the United States incapable of accomplishing anything positive in the region ... Is the domino theory valid for the Middle East? No, not any more than it was in Vietnam. But a reverse domino theory is. The longer the U.S. stays in Iraq, the more likely the collapse of the secular regimes in those Muslim nations, and the more likely a full-scale war between Israel and its neighbors. It’s American departure from Iraq that could prevent it.

Amanda was watching Condi Rice on ABC’s This Week so we didn’t have to:
STEPHANOPOULOS: But before the war in Iraq many argued that going into Iraq would stir up a hornet’s nest. The administration strongly disagreed and here’s what Vice President Cheney had to say in August 2002.
CHENEY (VIDEO): I believe the opposite is true. Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region, extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of jihad, moderates throughout the region would take heart, and our ability to advance the Israeli/Palestinian peace process would be enhanced.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Extremists now appear to have been emboldened. The moderates appear to be in retreat. There is no peace process. There is war. How do you answer administration critics who say that the administration’s actions have unleashed, have helped unleash the very hostilities you hoped to contain?
RICE: Well, first of all, those hostilities were not very well contained as we found out on September 11th, so the notion that policies that finally confront extremism are actually causing extremism, I find grotesque.

It’s a pity that our Secretary of State happens to be Clueless Condi.

Update: Another ThinkProgress post begins with:
In 1996, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser (all later senior officials in the Bush administration) had a plan for how to destroy Hezbollah: Invade Iraq. They wrote a report to the newly elected Likud government in Israel calling for “a clean break” with the policies of negotiating with the Palestinians and trading land for peace ... Now, with the U.S. bogged down in Iraq, with Bush losing control of world events, and with the threats to national security growing worse, no one could possibly still believe this plan, could they? Think again.

We have seen Newt Gingrich, William Kristol, and the National Review’s chicken hawks all giddy about World War III over the past several days. And if we go back to the 2000 Presidential campaign, recall Condi Rice was advising the government of Israel not to work with President Clinton as he attempt to have Israel negotiate with the Palestinians in terms trading land for peace. It is all making sense now – especially given that Karl Rove needs something to salvage the GOP majority in Congress in the upcoming 2006 elections.

Bloglines - Bill O'Reilly Death Threat Against Kevin Barrett


9/11 Blogger - Blogging 9/11 Related Alternative News
All comments are welcome! but please avoid hate speech and profanity, and use references when possible.

Bill O'Reilly Death Threat Against Kevin Barrett

By George Washington

Bill O'Leilly, er I mean O'Reilly, said that he would like to see 9/11 activist Kevin Barrett murdered and thrown into Boston Harbor.

Here's Kevin's response:

Rupert Murdoch
Bull-Goose Loonie & Fascist Billionaire Extraordinaire
Fox News

Dear Mr. Murdoch,

It has come to my attention that one of your announcers, Bill
O’Reilly, has stated on national television that he would like to see
me murdered and thrown into Boston Harbor.

Since I get so many email death threats I can’t keep track of them
(among the 10% of my 9/11-related emails that are negative) this is a
pretty inflammatory thing to say. If anything were to happen to me,
Fox News would find itself facing the mother of all lawsuits, and my
family might very well end up in control of the Murdoch fortune. You
may wish to consider urging your friends in the White House to offer
me Secret Service protection. Please assign me the guy who said
“we’re out of here” to Bush when the second plane hit the building at
9:04 – not the higher-up who overruled him and kept Bush reading
about pet goats while our nation was allegedly under surprise attack.
See: http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/9-11secretservice.htmlThe
Secret Service agent who said “we’re out of here” before being
overruled was honest. That’s the guy I want protecting my life.

Also, you might want to tell O’Reilly that HE'S the one who should
worry about ending up in Boston Harbor. 9/11 was an act of high
treason and mass murder, and media figures complicit in the cover-up
will be viewed, a few years hence, the way we now view Dr. Goebbels.

The last time a bunch of empire-builders tried to trample on our
rights, we had a little uprising called the American Revolution. It’s
time for another one. Let’s kick it off with another Boston Tea
Party—a little red-white-and-blue version of V-for-Vendetta—and throw
the whole Fox News crew, along with the traitors in this
administration, straight into Boston Harbor.


Kevin Barrett
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Edgewood College of Madison"

On a personal note, when I first heard that Representative Nass was calling for Kevin to be fired from his University, my first thought is "They picked on the wrong guy". Kevin is smart, wise, and courageous.

You can't keep a good man down.

Bloglines - I wish it would just stop!

Crooks and Liars
John Amato's Virtual Online Magazine

I wish it would just stop!

By John Amato on Blogs

My friend who lives near Haifa, Israel, emailed this to me a little while ago:

Right wing blogger Michael Totten posted a piece about his friend in Lebanon who is upset and leaving because of the violence there. He had to shut off his comments because it got so nasty and people like the Keyboard Kommando Roger Simon, left this:

Your friend … and everyone else… should definitely read this. He might grow up.

Somebody responded appropriately:

Roger Simon returns from a day coasting around SoCal, his skin lightly parboiled from spiriting around in the sun from shop to shop. He boils a latte, and flicks on his PC. He visits Totten’s blog and sees the latter’s friend, an uppity Leb author of the Lebanese Political Journal, has voiced despair over being bombed out of his neighborhood by Israel! Simon’s response: "He might grow up." Behold, the analytic genius and profound humanity underpinning Pajamas Media!

A man in the middle of this conflict is being lectured by a guy in his pajamas. Michael then responded with this.

This is a scary time and I hope it stops. All the violence. One thing is certain: the warmongers can’t be trusted to offer up their opinions or ideas since they cheer-leaded us into the disastrous Iraq war and ushered in this state of existence.

Update: More on Michael Totten here.


Bloglines - Kornblut falsely reported that Sen. Clinton criticized Democrats for “wasting time”

Crooks and Liars
John Amato's Virtual Online Magazine


Cosmic Iguana - Voice of the Evil Doers
Faith-based News for Extra-Terrestrials


By cosmici

the US has been exercising the Salvador option [*] in Iraq for some time, but seldom have we had reports of them actually having to get their special forces hands dirty themselves. These are typical "rogue warriors" - bearded, non-uniformed. ASIA TIMES:

Early in the morning on Sunday, June 18, US military helicopters landed near the home of Sinan Abdul-Ilah al-Mashadani in the al-Jughaifi district of Fallujah.

Within two minutes the doors of his home were blasted open and "a strange looking group of people" stormed inside, according to Said Walid Ahmed, a 40-year-old teacher who lives in the neighborhood.

"This force is not totally unknown to us here in Fallujah," Ahmed, who witnessed the incident from a nearby house told Inter Press Service (IPS). "They are a special force of Americans that assassinates more people than it arrests."

Ahmed described the force from the helicopters as "big men with long hair and beards, some wearing earrings, and others with little black caps on the top of their heads at the back".

Sinan Abdul-Ilah al-Mashadani, who was a student at al-Mustansiriya University and the sole supporter of his mother and younger brother and sister, was killed in the raid, apparently by a special operations team supported by the US military, according to witnesses... [*]

The Salvador option is working though - now the US is being asked to stay in Iraq by the Sunnis who havecome to fear the Shi'ite militias the strategy has empowered [*].

Bloglines - Apocalyptic Muslim Jew-hatred


The American Thinker
Thoughtful political commentary.

Apocalyptic Muslim Jew-hatred

By Andrew G. Bostom

There are short-term reasons behind the attacks on Israel by Hezbollah and Hamas. But underlying all the geo-strategy is a solid foundation of fanatical Jew-hatred, dating back to the founding...

Bloglines - Response to "Defending the Indefensible"

Great Power is a Blunt Object

Response to "Defending the Indefensible"

By Musclemouth

Anything They Say posted some photos of Isreal's asymmetrical response to a few kidnappings. It got me writing a comment of enough length that I decided to post it here:

Here's how I make sense of it. Some call it "asymmetrical warfare" but that just rings a little too, oh, bureaucratic-sounding to me. I mean it's factually accurate, but it doesn't quite capture the situation in a nutshell. The term also implies that Lebanon as a whole committed the kidnappings. Which is a complete lie, as we well know. So the only conclusion I can come to is a really big one, with big implications: there is no such thing as a country. Borders seem really false to me. The only reason I can think of that borders exist is to designate certain populations as legitimate targets for scapegoatism and mass murder. When most world decisions are made by about 1% of the population (most likely much less), it's the other 99% that suffer, 99% of the time. This leads me to the further conclusion that nationalism and patriotism exist only to designate people as stand-ins or whipping boys for the sole purpose of further legitimizing the using of people as chesspieces. These people are inanimate objects in the eyes of all rulers. It's all a nice game for them. The only reason people don't rise up and kill all the rulers is because people are still stuck to the belief that their governments have their best interests in mind. Dissent is a mere thorn in their side; they quash it with charges of "treason" and whatnot. I think the people of Lebanon, as well as the people of the U.S., should rise up, but they won't, because we've all been conditioned to play the game. It sucks. That's all I can say about this right now.

As for the emerging great war in the Middle East, it will only get worse. I wonder whether it will expand beyond that region. I wonder if all hell will soon break loose. I wonder about WWIII, and whether it will be a spectacular, all-out, nuclear war; or whether it will be just a slow wearing down process that finally turns the tide against the world population explosion. I wonder if we'll ever see 7 billion people on the Earth.

I see our government legitimizing every act of genocide. I see our government saying things to the effect of, "We won't bomb you as long as you meet our impossible demands." I see a propaganda assault rising to a fever pitch. I see hopelessness and distrust of government everywhere amongst the masses, but with an accompanying sense of powerlessness. I see us all standing in the wings, watching, and when the genocide reaches us, we'll be powerless to stop it.

We all die sometime. But artifically-derived violence of man-on-man is not a good way to go out, because it hurts us right where it counts: in the soul. Where's the love? Where's the honor? Where are these fundamental underpinnings of the human heart? Where is our bravery, our self-respect, our compassion? Must everything be a matter of intellect and numbers? Isn't suffering a good enough reason to realize that all this is wrong?

Apparently not. We're caught up in abstractions like freedom and democracy, when the truth is self-evident: people are fucked. What good is democracy anymore? Where is it hiding? We've all been programmed so far. We still believe in a living, breathing America. We believe in a Constitution, a piece of paper that somehow protects our liberty and our right to live as we wish. It only works if most people still follow it. But most don't, not anymore. It's all windowdressing and PR campaigns.

We are a brilliant people, we Americans. We have derived countless labyrinthes of mental models, we have taken countless circuitous paths and U-turns to reach conclusions that are demonstrably false. Checks and balances, the Fourth Estate, the free press - these abstractions have set up a virtual reality in our brain, a virtual reality that is supposed to parallel what goes on outside in the physical world. A virtual reality that is supposed to serve as a road map and a guiding force with which to navigate the political terrain. But those maps are outdated. It's like hunting for treasure using a 17th-century pirate's map. It's just silly, to me.

What's reality, then? Dead people. Pain and suffering. No amount of debate between the "left" and the "right" will ever change that. The Malkins and the Moores, the O'Reilly's and the Donahues, these only distract us, it appears. Oh sure, I follow them as much as the next guy, but this is personal. My heart tells me everything I need to know.

I just feel so bad for those poor people in Lebanon, in Palestine, yes, even in Israel. It is a life of fear and distaster. Ours, on the other hand, is a life of a sense of impending doom. We all feel it in our guts and in our bones. Some kind of apocalypse is afoot. We don't know when or where or how, but we feel it is coming. I believe that feeling derives from an ancient karma, passed down ancestrally. It is true there is no distinction between now and then and what is to come. Time is indeed illusion, no matter how naive or new agey that may sound. We are born and we live and we die in the blink of an eye. In the same way, geography is meaningless. The big picture is that what happens to one person anywhere, also happens to all people everywhere, on the level of the soul. Your blood is my blood. It's one big mass mind - that's humanity.

God bless America? God bless Earth.

Bloglines - McCain Miffed at NewsMax Article: ''Temper, Temper!''

Friends of Liberty
Friends of Liberty

McCain Miffed at NewsMax Article: ''Temper, Temper!''

A NewsMax.com report about Sen. John McCain’s legendary temper has apparently ruffled the feathers of the probable 2008 presidential candidate.

When NewsMax’s Ronald Kessler, who authored the report, appeared on Tucker Carlson’s MSNBC show on July 7 to discuss the story, Kessler stated, “Carlson said McCain’s office was very unhappy that he was having me on.”

“I imagine they may have scared off other shows” that might have interviewed Kessler.

In his NewsMax report, Kessler wrote in part: “As portrayed by the mainstream media, McCain is an engaging war hero, a man of political moderation positioned between the left and the right. But to insiders who know him, McCain has an irrational, explosive side that make many of them question whether he is fit to serve as president and be commander in chief.”

Kessler quoted former Senator Bob Smith, a New Hampshire Republican who served with McCain on the Senate Armed Services Committee and on Republican policy committees, as saying: "I have witnessed incidents where he has used profanity at colleagues and exploded at colleagues. He would disagree about something and then explode. It was incidents of irrational behavior.

“We've all had incidents where we have gotten angry, but I've never seen anyone act like that."

Kessler’s NewsMax.com article also caught the eye of McCain’s homestate newspaper, the Arizona Republic.

The paper noted that McCain has denied allegations he blows his top, once demanding “some concrete examples of it,” adding “they aren’t there.”

Well, they are there.

Back in 2000, during McCain’s campaign for the Republican nomination for president, he went ballistic during an on-air phone interview with radio personality Michael Reagan. McCain ended up slamming the phone down and hanging up on Reagan.

The two were discussing whom McCain, as president, might appoint to the Supreme Court, and Reagan mentioned that Warren Rudman, McCain’s campaign chair, could be in position to push for a judge “like Judge [David] Souter.”

McCain interrupted Reagan four times with “can I finish?” and said Rudman was “not interested in playing any active role in a McCain administration and I resent enormously phone calls that were made by Pat Robertson saying that he was a vicious bigot.”

When Reagan later tried to shift the discussion to education, McCain said: “Before we go into that, does it disturb you that Pat Robertson would call up people and say that Warren Rudman is a vicious bigot?

NewsMax’s transcript of the interview read:

Reagan: No, Senator, I … Senator, no. Senator, because let me tell you…

McCain: Let me tell you – let me tell you … (unintelligible)

(Senator McCain hangs up abruptly.)

Afterwards Reagan declared: “The man does not have the temperament to be president of the United States.”

Another on-air display of McCain’s wrath came later that year as the candidate was about to deliver his concession speech.

As he walked through the crowd on his way to delivering the speech, NBC’s Maria Shriver asked him: “How do you feel?” McCain spun around and sternly told Shriver: “Please get out of here.”

The rebuke stunned MSNBC anchor Brian Williams.

When NewsMax Magazine ran an in-depth, front-page story in its August 2005 issue, “Inside McCain’s Head,” Paul M. Weyrich – chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation – told NewsMax:

“For years, I’ve heard stories about him throwing things at people and bringing young staffers to tears because he blows up at them.

“He has a seething anger that is very troubling. You can’t have somebody like that as president. You have to have somebody who is stable and can make good judgments.”


July 17, 2006

Stiglitz and Rashid: Free Trade Hypocrisy

[Economist's View] America's new trade hypocrisy, by Joseph Stiglitz and Hamidur Rashid, Project Syndicate: As the current "development round" of trade talks moves into its final stages, it is becoming increasingly clear that the goal of promoting development will not be served, and that the multilateral trade system will be undermined.

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Eyes Opened

http://pajamasmedia.com [Pajamas Media] A delegation of U.S. cotton farmers visiting West Africa said Washington’s multi-billion dollar subsidies to its cotton industry were “worsening hardship in the world’s poorest region … “Subventions are causing problems to farmers in Mali, we have realized on the ground.

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