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Juggling live ammo 22 August 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, Beirut, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC.
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Morocco

- DC – 

Oh I know everyone is in a tizzy whizzy over that “psyche” comment of Bush’s… and it was a bit nervy of him.  Think “nuke-u-lar”, from our legacy kid from the Ivies.  He had his phonetics Wheaties this am.  For sure… ;)

But this caught my eye in the after report from the AP:

“Our soldiers in Iraq should transition to a more limited mission focused on counterterrorism, force protection of U.S. personnel and training and logistical support of Iraqi security forces,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said, “Far from spreading freedom and democracy in the Middle East, the Bush administration has watched while extremists grow stronger, Iran goes nuclear, Iraq falls into civil war and oil and gas prices skyrocket.

Simply staying the course is unacceptable.”

Love how prissy they get when they drop all that bullshit on us.  It all means, no change.  And inside every word, “we won’t be in charge, not anytime soon”.

I think they are, considering how little they care about the American people, going into the Mid Terms crazy with fear.  Because if they don’t do well this go round… it means [more] decades in the proverbial desert.  And it is all about, for the select in Congress, who runs the powerful committees, who runs earmarking and who deals directly with the corporate special interests who write the laws we live under. 

As little Kos bleats about abortion.  Such a diversion op he runs.

And what have they, the Democrats, got to sell?  I mean, sell to the American people, that sliver who vote??   Anything that anyone believes?  ”We’ll do better”?  You can hear in their voices, they don’t believe it.

They’ve had YEARS to stand up and be adults.  They kept ducking.

Oh!  Right on schedule, listening to Imus this morning… and who do I hear, Begala.  Spelling out the narratives:  he’s for Lamont, we ”need someone who will stand up to Bush”. What. a. whopper. 

Then, we ”have to get out of Iraq”, it is ”in our way” to “take on Iran”.  And, in our way to “deal with North Korea”.

Above all else, they are confusedAnd this is too cute.  By more than half.  Of course she is running.

- Hezbollah -

Charles Glass in the London Review of Books

[L]ike Israel’s previous enemies, Hizbullah relies on the weapons of the weak: car bombs, ambushes, occasional flurries of small rockets and suicide bombers. The difference is that it uses them intelligently, in conjunction with an uncompromising political programme. …  Hizbullah’s achievement, perhaps ironically for a religious party headed by men in turbans, is that it belongs to the modern age. It videotaped its ambushes of Israeli convoys for broadcast the same evening. It captured Israeli soldiers and made Israel give up hundreds of prisoners to get them back. It used stage-set cardboard boulders that blew up when Israeli patrols passed. It flew drones over Israel to take reconnaissance photographs – just as the Israelis did in Lebanon. It had a website that was short on traditional Arab bombast and long on facts.

If Israelis had faced an enemy like Hizbullah in 1948, the outcome of its War of Independence might have been different. Israel, whose military respect Hizbullah, is well aware of this.

That is why, having failed to eliminate Hizbullah while it occupied Lebanon, Israel is trying to destroy it now. Hizbullah’s unpardonable sin in Israel’s view is its military success. Israel may portray Hizbullah as the cat’s-paw of Syria and Iran, but its support base is Lebanese. Moreover, it does one thing that Syria and Iran do not: it fights for the Palestinians. On 12 July Hizbullah attacked an Israeli army unit, capturing two soldiers. It said it would negotiate indirectly to exchange them for Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners in Israel, as it has done in the past. It made clear that its attack was in support of the Palestinians under siege in Gaza after the capture of another Israeli soldier a week earlier. The whole Arab world had remained silent when Israel reoccupied the Gaza settlements and bombed the territory. Hizbullah’s response humiliated the Arab regimes, most of which condemned its actions, as much as it humiliated Israel. No one need have been surprised. [snip]

Well, he was kidnapped at one point by the Hezbollah… makes him an interesting observer…

From Electronic Intifada on “proportional response”…

On the 27th and 28th of July, 100 bombs fell between two mosques in Bint Jbail within 11 minutes. At one point, the Israelis bombed for 11 hours straight. Then there was a break and they bombed for 21 hours until most of the town was completely destroyed. It’s estimated that about 60,000 people lived in Bint Jbail.

Of what military value, as a target, is a school, an entire block of residences, a town square, a favorite swimming hole? Why is it strategically valuable to drop many hundreds of cluster bombs that fall in gardens and along roadsides between small farming villages? [...]

[B]oth legally and rationally, you cannot say “everyone living there is Hezbollah.” You can’t just walk away from the appalling damage and say, they were warned.

Or can you? Can a state get away with it, backed up by other world bodies?

If that’s the case, then ordinary people bear a grave responsibility to demand that leaders own up to war crimes. Yes, finding a proportionate response to war crimes when so much power is concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people, many of them reckless and dangerous leaders of the United States and Israel, is a daunting task. But let’s think of the people finding courage to return and rebuild, let’s think of those trying to demine and clear out the cluster bombs, let’s think of the parents trying to help children orient themselves to a vastly insecure world. With them, we might acknowledge, you have to start somewhere.

So, is it Little America or are we Big Israel, because this is just such a tight formation…  Itzhak Laor in the LRB:

The IDF is the most powerful institution in Israeli society, and one which we are discouraged from criticising. Few have studied the dominant role it plays in the Israeli economy. Even while they are still serving, our generals become friendly with the US companies that sell arms to Israel; they then retire, loaded with money, and become corporate executives. The IDF is the biggest customer for everything and anything in Israel. In addition, our high-tech industries are staffed by a mixture of military and ex-military who work closely with the Western military complex. The current war is the first to become a branding opportunity for one of our largest mobile phone companies, which is using it to run a huge promotional campaign. Israel’s second biggest bank, Bank Leumi, used inserts in the three largest newspapers to distribute bumper stickers saying: ‘Israel is powerful.’ The military and the universities are intimately linked too, with joint research projects and an array of army scholarships. 

And here he echoes Angry Arab, who says the same thing:

The mainstream left has never seriously tried to oppose the military. The notion that we had no alternative but to attack Lebanon and that we cannot stop until we have finished the job: these are army-sponsored truths, decided by the military and articulated by state intellectuals and commentators. So are most other descriptions of the war, such as the Tel Aviv academic Yossef Gorni’s statement in Haaretz, that ‘this is our second war of independence.’ The same sort of nonsense was written by the same kind of people when the 2000 intifada began. That was also a war about our right to exist, our ‘second 1948’. These descriptions would not have stood a chance if Zionist left intellectuals – solemn purveyors of the ‘morality of war’ – hadn’t endorsed them. 

  Iran Cartoon / Craniak / Poland 

**************************************************************************

It’s always all about them:

Bill, that glad-handing evangelical pol, gives himself a huge pat on the back by scrambling over the backs of the poor and gives an equally huge love kiss to “bi-partisanship”. 

Earlier tonight I caught him on Charlie Rose, by phone from Vegas (banish any visuals of that!) patting his back again — over AIDS – HIV.  Very cheery fellow.

There is always a whiff that it is really all about pushing a mandatory AIDS test (whoever makes the test that gets used would make out like a bandit)… they know with no vaccine and lagging purchase of the reduced cost anti-retrovirals they cannot sell a mandatory test.  And somehow or other, that test has nothing to do with helping people.  Just a given… I’d rather be cynical than naive. 

Really… even what good he did (balance the budget and a surplus) gets washed away.  Literally and figuratively.

May she rise – and fall hard.  They are strangling us… as much as Bush.  To all intents and purposes, in league with Bush.

*************************************************************************

UPDATE,  5:20 am

MTP, this past Sunday.

The blood just drips from their mouths:

MR. GREGORY: Are we, are we on a course toward military confrontation with Iran?

SEN. McCAIN: I’m not sure. I hope that that option would be obviously the very last option, and it would be a very difficult one, to say the least. But to rule it out completely under any circumstances when the Iranians have declared their dedication to the extinction of the state of Israel, certainly this is a very serious challenge. Some argue, as you know, that the reason why the Hezbollah attacks on Israel were encouraged by the Iranians was to divert attention from their nuclear program. I think there’s some credence to that.

***********************************************************************

UPDATE, 3:30 pm

Awww.  Bucking broncos. Braying donkeys.  Tied in Democratic sites, obviously wave-lengthing different aides… ;) 

Wish any  of it, like, you know, mattered.

… at least he did not write under “poiuynick”… ;)  Means he got comments, at least.

I hate to pick on Josh Marshall’s crew again on CT-Sen, but dammit, they just ask for it. Today, their elections page writes:

It’s now been 2 full weeks since Ned Lamont defeated Senator Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Whether it’s true or not, the general perception of this period seems to be that Joe has rolled up his sleeves and gotten down to business while Ned’s head remains floating in the rarified climes of his primary win. Obviously this thing is far from over but Joe had about the best post-primary-loss 2 weeks he could’ve hoped for. Instead of pulling a Blondie and fading away and radiating, Lieberman went on the offensive and fought back effectively, if not admirably.

This is the same obtuse take we read here from some diarists who failed to understand that what Lieberman did was merely become the GOP candidate in the race. As I wrote yesterday, what Joe did was a political blunder and that he now is trying to undo the damage. I’ll explain a bit more on the flip  [snip]

… wish any of it mattered.  Across several of the steno blogs, Dkos, FDL, MyDD, others… Lieberman, round the clock.  More Lieberman than Lamont…

Does it occur to them that if 100 are reading and rah rah rah-ing this endless scheisse, 200 have wandered off? 

And who knows?  Joe may win, always was the de facto Republican, of a NE moderate to liberal ilk.  With some warring stances.  And picked up the cash that comes with war.  As did many a Democrat….

Then again, just the empty dog days of August.  We could drive out to the airport and watch planes come in… ?  No?

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Comments»

1. NYCO - 22 August 2006

Kind of off topic but I can’t find a place to highlight this and wondered what people think.

One of the most e-mailed stories from the NYT this past week was this one on how Americans can’t seem to take vacations any more:

http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/us/20vacation.html

If you work at a 9-to-5 job you will probably be familiar with the “fake vacation time” you get as part of your benefits. You know, X weeks of vacation, only a percentage of which you actually get to take in reality, because you can’t find anyone to cover for you, or you’d be overwhelmed by work when you came back, or — very often — the subtle expectation on the part of management that you don’t actually ask for the time off.

This morning I calculated how much vacation time I probably really have coming to me for the rest of my life, were I to stay in my current job (which is a pretty good job with “generous” vacation benefits) until a retirement age of, say, 68 (or – since I doubt anyone will be able to retire in the future – until I drop dead). Given that means 30 more years of my working life, and given that I can reasonably expect to take only a maximum of 12 vacation days a year, that means I have 360 days of actual vacation coming to me for the rest of my life. And none of those days will be taken in a row, which kind of screws up what you can do with that time.

Since actual retirement seems an ever receding possibility for many Americans, it makes having an inoperable brain tumor seem like a good deal, kinda. At least you’d be able to quit your job and have an uninterrupted year off before dropping dead.

I also calculated that I will spend nearly 70% of my remaining days at work, at this rate. Compare this to the 86% someone in medieval days might have experienced (since they always got Sundays off). And I’m lucky, because my employer generally leaves me alone on weekends (although I am still expected to check in and do any urgent work that gets passed to me). Many people are not that lucky.

The point I’m leading to: How long can Americans realistically continue like this — all pain, no gain? When will it get to the point where a certain percentage of middle-class people conclude that raising hell is more profitable and satisfying than working a steady job?

2. aemd - 22 August 2006

“To all intents and purposes, in league with Bush.”

Well, maybe, more in competition with Bush Jr. but the same end sadly.

3. TustonDAZ - 22 August 2006

Ahhh yes, Bill and Hill. What ever happened to those sweetSTONED kidz?Check out their eyes; love the paisley shirt!

The Clintons are strangling America, but seem to me to symptomatic of certain segment of a whole generation of (then) young people who lost their way sometime towards then end of Carter’s term/Raygun’s ascendency. Hell, the “sell out story” is so prevalent (if framed different), that one of the Wall Street Firms sunday morning tv commericials trace the arc: “Meet Jane she was a child hippy, a democrat, a den mother, an adult republican, …etc.”

As much as Bush is result I would argue that the Billaries are too.

And, radical that I am, I firmly believe until the US legalizes cannabis (and gets Billary stoned again) we will remain lost in a roman wilderness of pain

4. CSTAR - 22 August 2006

Another photo essay. South Beirut Year Zero:

5. marisacat - 22 August 2006

Tuston

As much as Bush is result I would argue that the Billaries are too.

Yeah I SO agree. Bush is outcome… and so are the Clintons… and so is the political concrete, hard and dry, that we are stuck in.

At some point inevitably there will be breakthru… but I suspect not anytime soon. One reason to slowly remake it, tiny bit by tiny bit from the ground up, where it can be done, is the only way.

The top is frozen in some strange minuet.

6. marisacat - 22 August 2006

The point I’m leading to: How long can Americans realistically continue like this — all pain, no gain? When will it get to the point where a certain percentage of middle-class people conclude that raising hell is more profitable and satisfying than working a steady job?

I wonder about that too NYCO. I have no idea the breaking point of the middle class, the middle class that is rapidly losing ground.

The assessment of “all pain – no gain” is dead on.

The law firm I was last at was an unholy pressure cooker, but they DID insist you take at least the two weeks every year. And I knew it was an aberration. So many kinds of companies would prefer that staff NOT take time… even 10 years ago…
On the other hand they have retrenched from the rather generous vacation package they used to offer… it is just two weeks and stays that way longer than it used to. They also lengthened the work week in the late nineties… I mean it was easy to see which way it all was headed… after much more “liberal” packages and work weeks in the 80s, it was all rolling back and tightening up.

And it did affect people – very much so, esp people with long commutes. Whihc is nearly everyone now.

7. Nur al-Cubicle - 22 August 2006

Read this from Hubert Vedrine, former French Foreign Minister (via Le Figaro)”

“Never has a US administration been so in conformity with the hardest-line policy of Likud between 2001 and 2005. For this reason, it has lost the ability to play the role of mediator with the Arabs or even give useful advice to the Israelis….We are witnesses to the fiasco of the pseudo President’s “Greater Middle East Initiative” …The Bush administration is doomed to fail in the Middle East, and, by refusing to understand this, it compromises us all”.

Set, game and match over but that won’t stop Bush from spending the US to its own doom.

8. gayle - 22 August 2006

From the LA times article. . .

“But in Washington, many believe otherwise, fearing for her prospects and those of the Democratic Party she represents.”

I’ve been waiting for someone in blogworld to float this Minority Leader balloon since Reid suggested the same thing a week or two ago.

They’re afraid she can’t win, so they try to parade a walking piece of drywall in front of us (Warner) and proclaim he is viable! Warner makes Kerry look fiery, for god’s sake.

Ugh. Some people never learn.

9. marisacat - 22 August 2006

LOL… gayle… you gave me a laugh. “Walking piece of drywall”… ooooo good! I have to say the whole list gearing up for ’08 is one kind or another of car salesman. Very tedious.

And I hear that BMT went to hear Warner and is singing his praises. Or slinging his hash… ;)

Let me find the link, I had not made it there to read and scream yet… LOL

here

ugh I took a quick look at it. I need ASPIRIN and a lie down. So many people just slobber their way thru politics. And vote for Casey… ;)

10. Arcturus - 22 August 2006

re: the breaking point of the middle class, the middle class that is rapidly losing ground

We may see that moment approaching if the housing bubble bursts anytime soon — it’ll be more of an instigator than any of Bush’s civil rights infringements.

A non-newsy, but p’haps of interest FYI:

A Poet Redraws Boundaries: A review of Benjamin Hollander’s Rituals of Truce and the Other Israeli, by Khaled Furani in the The Palestine-Israel Journal, an” independent, non-profit publication co-published and produced by Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem, as an explicitly joint venture promoting dialogue, in the search for peaceful relations.”

Ben’s was an interesting, provocative voice in the SF bay area poetry scene in the mid-80’s, early 90’s. I don’t yet have a copy of this.

11. gayle - 22 August 2006

Marisacat,

Too Funny!

“My impression of Warner is that he would strive to be a second Clinton. And I think he would have a good chance of pulling it off. So, I am happy to have him in the race and hope he prevails over Hillary,. . .”

HA HA HA!

12. gayle - 22 August 2006

Oh, Oh, Oh!

He also writes Warner knew just what to say in front of the DLC lawyer types at their luncheon event.

Oh, you know he did!

13. marisacat - 22 August 2006

ain’t it awful when people are impressed by ordinariness. A crying shame. And then they vote for Casey… ;)

14. marisacat - 22 August 2006

CSTAR that is a wonderful series. Beautifully arranged. Not just more devastation, somehow. Thank you…

Nur thank you so very much for the translations you make available to readers. They have made a real difference for years now…

15. CSTAR - 22 August 2006

According to Hadassa Ben-Itto writing in Ha’aretz, it’s not the devastation brought about by IDF bomdardment in southern Lebanon that’s the cause of anger in much of the world. In this war, the Protocols are to blame. Hadassa Ben-Itto is a former Israeli judge and author of several books on the Protocols.

The political correctness guiding today’s public discourse forbids saying anything against non-Jews, even when these things are true. It is not all Muslims, it is not the Koran, announcers must add every time they inform the world of yet another terrorist attack perpetrated by Muslims. If a similar protocols were to be published about Muslims, or any other minority or racial group, the streets would have been ablaze, as they were over a few measly caricatures in a Danish newspaper.

“political correctness guiding today’s public discourse” Excuse me? Has this lady ever read Redstate, Little Green Footballs or even the comments in Ha’aretz?

16. TustonDAZ - 22 August 2006

Yeah, the folks in Israel are as daft as the average Amerikkkan…

NPR had somebody from the Jerusalem Post on Fresh Air today who was advocating a re-examination of how “jewish values” affected the the failures of the “second lebanon war”

Unfortunately, he felt that their restraint due to. their “culture of life” prevents them from killing Islamic terrorists when children are around…

17. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 August 2006

One lucky side effect of being in the financial “services” (HA!) industry is all of the days that the market is closed. I get all fourteen (or so) Federal Holidays off, plus a couple of floating holidays and 2 weeks vacation, which they’re actually pretty good about us taking (except for right before xmas and the tax season (Jan – April 15). BIG improvement over my decade and a half in retail management, where taking time off was almost impossible and having enough money to enjoy it was pretty much more than you could hope for.

I do think that the relentless pace is why so many people pop, or join cultish megachurches.

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 August 2006

loons … the Israelis are as nuts as we are.

19. marisacat - 22 August 2006

CSTAR taht is a stunning piece. I went to Ha’aretz and read it…

Just — stunning.

20. JJB - 23 August 2006

Re that Haaretz piece . . .

That’s one of the looniest pieces of writing I have ever come across. That it is typical of what you could have seen in publications such as TNR, Commentary, The New York Post, over the last 25 years (at least), and in the past 5 years has been seen in less hysterical publications such as NYT, WaPoetc., gives the lie to the claim that such talk is banned by the edicts of political correctness. “Stunning” is, indeed, about all you can say about it. It’s worthy of Goebbels and Julius Streicher, in fact.

21. JJB - 23 August 2006

Forgot to add that I was also struck by an ad running along with that story the text of which read “At last, a neo-zionist answer to post-zionist appeasement.” It was for something called “Jerusalem Summit,” and I didn’t have the heart to click on the ad for details.

22. CSTAR - 23 August 2006

Amnesty International accuses Israel of war crimes Le Monde. Sadly, I didn’t see this reported in the American press.
“The report, published August 23, accuses the IDF of targetting civilians during the bombing campaign in Lebanon. Not only were stores hit, but aid convoys were blocked and hospitals and public buildings were hit to force civilians to flee”.

Though I try to stay out of the blog wars, I notice that there is no mention of this in “la gran naranja”.

23. marisacat - 23 August 2006

JJB… LOL when I read the Ha’aretz piece the ad i noticed was for Jerusalem condominium sales.

Yikes.

Time to e-va-cu-ate.

24. marisacat - 23 August 2006

CSTAR

I did nto see it in the US media but think I saw it either in the UK press or at Reuters.

Doubt the NYT will be picking it up, but if they do likely at the tag end of a report.

I have on a Cspan panel on the war and Mid East coverage.

Marvin Kalb, Ford Rowan and some assorted types, Brit from one of the conservative US colleges (Patrick Henry), a MEer from UPI for “balance”..

and their bias is APPALLING. They laud FOX, slam CNN say the Israeli press is open and there was no state censorship (good lord, in a war ALL SIDES work the media) and bitch bitch over the issue of photos.

WHINERS. Not a word that 40 or so civilans against what may be over 1300 civilians WILL COLOR THE PHOTOS PUBLISHED.

And it should.

25. marisacat - 23 August 2006

oh they are all jumping on the Bush use of Fascism for Islamic radicals (or whatever it all was specifically). They like it.

The ME reporter is really alone. What a gang-up. It is at the Potomac Institute.

Claude Selhami from UPI and a Cyrus paper.

26. Israel/Lebanon Conflict / Juggling live ammo - 26 August 2006

[...] Read the rest of this post [...]


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