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Protest 27 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, Italy, WAR!.


A pro-Tibet protester shouts anti-China slogans from a police van in front of the Chinese Embassy Visa Section in Kathmandu on April 29 [Picture: REUTERS]

I figured a day of onset of war or renewed war somewhere would make good use of this pic… Works today I think

Since Israeli troops overran the Strip in 1967, Israeli politicians and generals have always seen it as a problem – a hotbed of radicalism and opposition. And so Israel has ventured failed experiment after experiment in the attempt to control Gaza. It has tried everything except the obvious – to allow its people to be free.

It has tried directly managing Gaza, and a brutal policy of quarantine backed by tanks, jets and gunboats. It has attempted the maintenance of strategic settlements, which only provided a focus for resistance against the patrolling troops. And when that failed, Israel retreated – only to find that, without a proximate enemy, those living inside turned to attacking the nearby towns with crude missiles.

Ironically, one of Israel’s experiments involved assisting in the creation of Hamas, which had its roots in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, to counter the power of Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation. Israel has been determined to push Hamas ever closer to all-out war since insisting that even though it won free and fair Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, its right to govern could not be treated as legitimate.

Since Hamas took power in Gaza in summer 2007, after a short, brutal struggle with Fatah, Israel’s policy has been one of collective punishment, summed up in the policy of “no prosperity, no development, no humanitarian crisis”.

It has tried everything except the obvious – to allow its people to be free.

Yes.. Let’s not get too carried away with this easy idea of  ”failure”.  We tried so hard!  We failed! Ongoing chaos seems to me to be the order of the day.  Just as Iraq is not,  nor was it ever,  “mismanaged”.

Here is where the author leaves us… I am less sure than he seems to be that some Great Fork in the endless war road that we share with Israel has occurred.  Nice thought tho.

And Israel has supplied a rallying point. Something tangible and brutal that gives the critics of its actions in Gaza – who say it has a policy of collective punishment backed by disproportionate and excessive force – something to focus on.

Something to be ranked with Deir Yassin. With the Sabra and Shatila massacres. Something, at last, that Israel’s foes can say looks like an atrocity.


What a strange day! A writer in the Sunday Observer (what a diminished, shadow of nothing that publication is!) ponders B16’s Christmas Urbi e Orbi

Over the past few months, the Vatican has been quietly canvassing Lord Guthrie, the former head of the armed forces, John Studzinski, the millionaire philanthropist, and a handful of other influential British Catholics on who should succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor upon his imminent retirement. From the telephone conversations and one-on-one meetings, it is clear what Pope Benedict XVI expects of the man who will lead Britain’s more than four million Catholics: courage, patience, PR nous and an unshakable respect for liturgical tradition.

As of last week, we also know one quality the Pope is not seeking in prospective candidates: tolerance towards lesbians and gays. [… and we did not know this last year?  and before?  –Mcat]

In his Christmas address to Vatican staff, Benedict XVI inveighed against the harm done by “gender theory” (he likened it to the threat to the planet caused by the destruction of the rainforest), which teaches that the distinction between male and female is down to cultural rather than biological influence. Most of the faithful billion-plus Catholics who pay close attention to every word the Pope utters must have drawn a blank: gender theory, perhaps a familiar concept to some Ivy Leaguers, is unknown in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and the slums of Calcutta [really?  –Mcat]. The media, however, quickly bridged the knowledge gap and interpreted the papal message as a coded attack on homosexuals. Gender theory questions the patriarchy and sex-based discrimination; its critics, ergo, must support both.

and she posits that blither from il papa is, somehow,  going to cause:

Instead, Benedict XVI issued a message that could be, and was, boiled down to a finger-wagging warning against a vulnerable minority. Many Catholics, even among his most devoted disciples, must be issuing a moan of exasperation, none more so than the candidates to succeed Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor. These men stand to inherit a position that propels them to the centre of public life in an overwhelmingly secular society that will treat them with suspicion, if not downright hostility. Given the make-up of today’s Catholic church, at least some of these men are bound to be gay; given their candidature, their service to the church cannot be doubted.


How is any of this new, and why would things change?  B16 and Ganswein seem to be joined at the hip in some fashion, rather more than elderly prelate and youngish monsignor/secretary … but why would that or anything else change the church’s love of prohibition for people…  (Of course she is a Catholic writer, former editor of the Catholic Herald.  Keep the fictions going!)

As a critic has said of the pope:

”If Ratzinger had a motto it could have more to do with Caesar than Jesus: divide et impera.”

I say, Excellent! for a War Pope!  To my eye, things are on track!  Not the right track, but the preferred track!

They have had murderers and buggerers as papa and princes of the church for centuries and still they maintain the long finger shake… when not arranging the capelet…


Sorry, I just love to dish on the pope… it’s easy!



1. NYCO - 27 December 2008

No one wants to be first to the new thread. It’s so gauche. And, I forgot my hostess gift.

Oh, I’ll just re-gift my sister’s re-gift to me…


(May you accept it in the spirit in which my sister intended me to accept it…)

2. catnip - 27 December 2008

Obama ‘monitoring’ Gaza strikes: spokesman

IOW, he doesn’t know what the official Dem party line is yet. Coward.

3. catnip - 27 December 2008

Ironic – we both posted bits from the same Guardian article. I just finished my blog post on this as well.

4. marisacat - 27 December 2008

catnip… link to your piece… with a cut from it….


5. catnip - 27 December 2008


Those who followed the Israel/Lebanon war will recall that that attack had been planned months in advance, contrary to claims by the Israeli government that it was just a spur of the moment response to the kidnapping of some of its soldiers. So, it should be no surprise that, as Ha’aretz reports today, the attacks on Gaza are not about retaliating against Hamas for its recent shelling of Israeli territory.

Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public – all these stood behind the Israel Defense Forces “Cast Lead” operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, which began Saturday morning.

The disinformation effort, according to defense officials, took Hamas by surprise and served to significantly increase the number of its casualties in the strike.

Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago, even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas. According to the sources, Barak maintained that although the lull would allow Hamas to prepare for a showdown with Israel, the Israeli army needed time to prepare, as well.

6. marisacat - 27 December 2008

“I will play music and celebrate what the Israeli air force is doing.” Those were the words, spoken on Al Jazeera today by Ofer Shmerling, an Israeli civil defense official in the Sderot area adjacent to Gaza, as images of Israel’s latest massacres were broadcast around the world.

A short time earlier, US-supplied Israeli F-16 warplanes and Apache helicopters dropped over 100 bombs on dozens of locations in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip killing at least 195 persons and injuring hundreds more. Many of these locations were police stations located, like police stations the world over, in the middle of civilian areas. The US government was one of the first to offer its support for Israel’s attacks, and others will follow. …snip….

Ali Abunimah in Electronic Intifada

7. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 December 2008

RIP Chicago School of Economics: 1976-2008

Some time ago, I asked if “Milton Friedman was the next economist whose once lauded reputation may soon slide ?”

Turns out it happened much quicker than expected. A long Bloomberg piece, Friedman Would Be Roiled as Chicago Disciples Rue Repudiation, discusses the tarnishment of the Chicago school of thought.

Its long overdue. From the efficient-market theories, to the concept of man as rational profit maximizers, much of the edifice that is was the Chicago school of economics is based on a foundation that is false, disproven or otherwise questionable.

I first encountered the Chicago theory in law school. The Chicagoists somehow read into law a market efficiency component that was never there. I recoiled against it — not because of the libertarianism, which I embraced. Rather, it seemed a backdoor way to circumvent democracy, and force into the legal system rules that were never debated, voted on, or agreed to by a representative government. I found the extremist legal theories of Judges like Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook intellectually repulsive. They were undemocratic, anti-representative government. When I told a professor that the law and economics movement was an attempt at a political coup, he laughed and said, try to stop it.

Anyway, here’s an excerpt from today’s Bloomberg:

“When Friedman’s Platonic ideas of free-market virtues are put into practice, they have too often generated a systemic orgy of competitive greed — whose remedies, ironically, entail countermeasures of nationalization,” Marshall Sahlins, an emeritus professor of anthropology, said during the debate, speaking in a room adorned with murals of female students parading through the campus in medieval gowns. Sahlins, 77, noted a few weeks later socialist and capitalist countries alike are regulating or nationalizing financial institutions in a rebuff to Friedman.

Off campus, the global meltdown is stirring anti-Chicago economists, who were voices in the wilderness during decades of lax government oversight of markets. Joseph Stiglitz, who won one of Columbia’s economics Nobels, says the approach of Friedman and his followers helped cause today’s turmoil.

‘Bears the Blame’ “The Chicago School bears the blame for providing a seeming intellectual foundation for the idea that markets are self- adjusting and the best role for government is to do nothing,” says Stiglitz, 65, who received his Nobel in 2001.

University of Texas economist James Galbraith says Friedman’s ideology has run its course. He says hands-off policies were convenient for American capitalists after World War II as they vied with government-favored labor unions at home and Soviet expansion overseas.

“The inability of Friedman’s successors to say anything useful about what’s happening in financial markets today means their influence is finished,” he says.

8. marisacat - 27 December 2008

Rather, it seemed a backdoor way to circumvent democracy, and force into the legal system rules that were never debated, voted on, or agreed to by a representative government. I found the extremist legal theories of Judges like Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook intellectually repulsive. They were undemocratic, anti-representative government. When I told a professor that the law and economics movement was an attempt at a political coup, he laughed and said, try to stop it.

That does sum it up.

9. catnip - 27 December 2008
10. marisacat - 27 December 2008

Angry Arab:

Peace is at Hand…in 25 years

“The United States is committed to fighting insurgency in the Muslim world for 25 years, says a report released by the US Joint Forces Command.”

Posted by As’ad at 8:39 AM

And while I am there, more tidbits from the article:

Besides this general commitment to fighting insurgency, the United States is building permanent military structures in Afghanistan to indicate its plans for a long-term stay in the war-ravaged country.

Earlier this week, the US Corps of Engineers sought bids for some of these projects. One such project in Kandahar could cost as much as $500 million while three separate projects for housing facilities for the US troops will cost at least $100 million each.

On Wednesday, the official Voice of America radio quoted Mr Gates as saying that the United States was preparing to fight “irregular wars” across the Muslim world for years to come.

11. CSTAR - 28 December 2008

# 7

I think of Milton Friedman a bit like Mike Dukakis. They both rode tanks. Dukakis went nowhere on his tank. Well, Friedman didn’t really ride a tank, but he might just as well have ridden one, right there alongside the putchistas in Chile waving in the new order.

12. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Lovely… KGO has on the Israeli consul general from here… he posits that the casualties in GAZA will be “positive”. “positive casualties”.

13. BooHooHooMan - 28 December 2008

#1 LOL. No one wants to be first to the new thread. It is so gauche..

truly, LMAO. Very well done. 😀
unfortunately there’s always the asshole who has no such inhibitions. The kind of Christoper Walkenesque wasm – but with logorrhea –
who will not only post –
the first position – but –
bookend the thread- so busy in the wordlerine, that,
he missed the NEW thread–
the one that already started.

these. guys.
These guys. these guys – the blibbering galoots-
They pull into the club spot – Again.

LOL.. Fuckers. 😳

14. marisacat - 28 December 2008

“signs of imminent ground assault” from The Telegraph

And this:

But Israel’s stated aim of using force to stop the firing of rockets by Palestinian militants inside Gaza did not succeed as various rockets landed in Israel.

One missile with a much greater range than is normal hit the centre of the port city of Ashdod. This meant the number of Israelis living in range of rocket strike had suddenly increased by tens of thousands.

15. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Speaking of comment #1


Is this what your sister got you for Christmas? What a hoot!

2006 Bitch Grenache South Australia

This ’06 is sold out but check out site for more Bitch – other vintages lurk. This ain’t your Daddy’s Grenache. This is a wine about pleasure. Subversive pleasure. Not everyone needs to approve in order for YOU to have pleasure. Winemakers will tell you that Grenache is a bitch to grow. And, it’s a bitch to make. It’s a wine that can easily be vapid, but potentially as profound as wine gets. The Bitch is from Barossa. It’s mainly Northern Barossa fruit. Mainly bush vine, but also some trellised vineyards. Chris Ringland makes the wine. The wine sees no oak. The objective of the wine is to provide pure, explosive, unadulterated, hedonistic, uncompromising, juicy Grenache. 90 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “Bitch Grenache is sourced from 40- to 60-year-old vines from the Ebenezer sub-region of the Barossa. …snip…

16. BooHooHooMan - 28 December 2008

NYCO , from last thread re :

The ….Didn’t see it coming… crap.
Member of a massive coupla thousand year old cult. (me)

Don’t you think this line of reasoning is a little facile? -NYCO

No. It’s quite facile.
And consistent with the facility with which the diabolical is blurred::

Who knew? Seemed friendly. Went to Church. Why oh Why?
What Possibly could have gone wrong?

I understand People are in shock. Numb.
Comprehensibility all but abandoned amidst The Despicable…

but perhaps the Greatest Hook of All Time is :
“Judge not, lest ye be Judged.”
I suppose it couldn’t be written in the Ancient Texts:
Step Right up for the Lobotomy.

Now that we’ve arrived at a recognition it is indeed quite facile,
perhaps those rhetorical defenses can literallybe answered…

Who knew? Seemed friendly. Went to Church. Why oh Why?
What Possibly could have gone wrong?

If lucky, Some work – simplistic or not -on How could it be stopped?

I’m not speaking about any of this in any religious sense.
Truth is though, dogmatic and Judgemental as it sounds – Truth is –
A very significant number of “us” are all fucked up. Particularly how guilt is used, managed, or in most cases OBVIATED.

It’s Either a jet fueled exit when it comes to material acquisitiveness and Ambition, (either personal or national , to dust with anything or anyone in the way).. Or there is medieval regression particulaly WRT human sexuality, or other individuals we’ve only summarily assessed…

My thoughts anyways, I just thought the juxtaposition of one very blunt simplistic observation alongside a simplistic unserviceable other, kind of just Fits*

That said, the irony of either being too simplistic or reading too much into things is not lost on me…

17. BooHooHooMan - 28 December 2008

Hunters Piece?
An Inaugural Carol: Part III?
The One He Put up in the middle of Israel’s Bombing of Gaza?
The One , UH – He’s had on the Front Page at Dk
since yesterday afternoon—


The condemnation of Israel and it’s bombing piece yesterday ?


Good Day all.

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

“positive casualties”

Do these people look in mirrors? Do they kiss their children with those mouths?

19. NYCO - 28 December 2008

The fact is that lots of people experience such indifference in their daily lives that a smiling guy at the church door may seem like a beacon of pleasantness in a gray world. The shock is more understandable to me when I think of that.

For some people, the Catholic Church sucks, is imperfect, is run by hypocrites, etc. But frankly, the official progressive prescription for happiness seems just as dreary to me as what the Catholic Church offers. Someone like me would fare just as poorly in a humanist utopia as I would among the Catholics. Six of one, half dozen of the other; in the end, I’ll take the poetry.

20. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

THIS is just silly:

fter more than a decade spent railing against the Republican machine, MoveOn wants to move on — even if it means leaving some of its high-minded ideals behind.

That happened years ago.

What they chose: universal health care; economic recovery and job creation; building a green economy; stopping climate change; and end the war in Iraq.

What they didn’t: holding the Bush administration accountable; fighting for gay rights and LGBT equality; and reforming campaigns and elections.

MoveOn Executive Director Eli Pariser says that this happy alignment with Barack Obama’s agenda — and fortuitous absence of conflict with same — comes in part because “the people he’s listening to and the people we’re listening to are the same people.”

But it also may be a sign that MoveOn’s members want to move ahead – and that they’re willing to make some ideological sacrifices in exchange for real progress.

“Moving ahead” is just another way of saying buying in.

21. marisacat - 28 December 2008

the official progressive prescription for happiness seems just as dreary to me

Well I never bought into any progressive lecture. Life is a lot more complicated than that. And frankly never bought into the blither around about happiness either. Or the mediocrity of the classic “positivism” lecture. Again, life is more complicated.

22. mattes - 28 December 2008

…well, woke up hoping to find some news on the war taking place in the ME on cable…..not a word.

23. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Cable shoudl just run this on their crawl.. as I am sure they agree with it…

STATE, WHITE HOUSE BLAME HAMAS — Secretary Rice: ‘The United States strongly condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence in Gaza.’

Livni always laughs at times like this… maybe they could interveiw her laughing. Becasue in a few weeks when interviewed by Charlie Rose about all the recent unpleasantness, she will be laughing.

I read at angry arab that abu maazen is in … Riyadh. So perfect.

24. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

22- geez mattes, Santa killing a bunch of people with a gun and a nifty homemade firebomb not enough for you?

This damned cultural indoctrination just will. not. take. with you, will it?


25. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

I read at angry arab that abu maazen is in … Riyadh.

They do realize that Hamas will come out of this stronger, right? That is, unless they want to go all Wounded Knee on Gaza and just wipe a very large number of Palestinians out (which I frankly wouldn’t put past them).

26. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Snip from the London Times.. I cannot tell you how many times the pro war – including Iran, pro Israel host last night on KGO, with the Israeli consul general, mentioned this quote of Obster’s during the long long long run:

Obama sympathised with the Israeli authorities attempting to control the attacks. ‘If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that,’ Obama said at the time. ‘And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.’ Israelis have been further encouraged by Obama’s key appointments, from his vice-presidential running mate Joe Biden, long a prominent supporter of Israel, to his choice of Rahm Emanuel, a leading Jewish congressman, as his White House chief of staff.

So in the bag. And why not. No single mere president is going to take the strategic interests of the US off course.

27. marisacat - 28 December 2008


They do realize that Hamas will come out of this stronger, right?

well that is mentioned in some press reports. As well it seems clear that Hamas (no shock) is using this for martyrdom… They could have cleared their sort of civil affairs/safety police from being such easy targets… the one building loaded with police recruits, etc.

Then again if they shell, bomb and keep land forces in GAZA for 34 days (like Lebanon)… after bleeding the area for months of supplies and food….

I don’t know. But does it strengthn Hamas in general, seems likely… The other thing I read, but who knows the reality on the ground, there is much more evident anger at the various arab nations that silently go along with the Israeli moves.

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

I still don’t understand why hundreds of rockets, mortars, shells and bullets flying into Gaza for every ONE that goes out from Gaza don’t bear repeating, and why the NO ONE will do anything to stop the munitions aimed at all the daughters living inside Gazan homes.

29. mattes - 28 December 2008

#24 MM…

This damned cultural indoctrination just will. not. take. with you, will it?

I wouldn’t stay married and mass produce children either. Failure I am.

Meanwhile… CNN, still not a word. But if some Jew in Timbuktu got hit with a rock, Wolf would be all over it….non-stop.

30. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Chris Floyd has a sort of back ground piece on this [ahem] surge against Palestine, from the 24th

On December 14, he [Richard Falk, a Jewish American who is the UN Human Rights Council Special Investigator for the Occupied Territories] arrived at Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv to perform his assigned duties. He led a three-person mission that intended to visit the West Bank and Gaza, assess conditions on the ground, then report on Israel’s compliance with human rights standards and international humanitarian law….

Nonetheless, he was denied entry and harassed as follows:

* despite his UN status, he was put in a holding room with about 20 others experiencing entry problems;
* then “treated not as a UN representative, but as some sort of security threat, subjected to an inch-by-inch body search and the most meticulous luggage inspection I have ever witnessed;”
* separated from his two UN companions; they were allowed entry and taken to the airport facility about a mile away;
* required to put his luggage and cell phone in a room, then taken to a “locked tiny room that smelled of urine and filth;”
* five other detainees were with him in very cramped, uncomfortable quarters;
* he was confined there for the next 15 hours, “which amounted to a cram course on the miseries of prison life, including dirty sheets, inedible food and lights that were too bright or darkness controlled from the guard office;”
* Israel’s “obvious intention (was) to teach me, and more significantly, the UN a lesson: there will be no cooperation with those who make strong criticisms of Israel’s occupation policy.”

Oh I think we got the message…

31. marisacat - 28 December 2008


untermenschen… is the answer I think.

It is also interesting how Obama has repeatedly used his daughters when drawing a contrast or making an example in the case of a very controversial issue… here war of occupation and antoher significant example, abortion.

I would leave my own children out of stumping and selling war. Must work for him tho.

32. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

I would leave my own children out of stumping and selling war. Must work for him tho.

using lambs to lead others to slaughter.

33. marisacat - 28 December 2008

What’s a little war, what’s a little hate… between FRIENDS.. eh? And we are all FRIENDS, right?

Top Obama adviser David Axelrod strongly defended the selection of evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the opening prayer at the inauguration, telling moderator David Gregory on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the nation needs to get beyond “shaking our fists” across a political divide.

“You have a conservative evangelical pastor who’s coming to participate in the inauguration of a progressive president,” Axelrod said from Chicago. “This is a healthy thing and a good thing for our country. We have to find ways to work together on the things on which we do agree, even when we profoundly disagree on other things.”

Axelrod did not take the bait when Gregory read praise from televangelist Pat Robertson for Obama’s Cabinet selections.

“We gotta get beyond this sorta politics where … we’re each on the jagged edge of a great divide, shaking our fists at each other,” Axelrod said. “We do have a great Cabinet – we’re proud of that Cabinet.”


34. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Laura Rozen War and Piece has a round up of response… such as it is…

Noting leftwing Meretz party’s call for military action in Gaza, Israeli American analyst Haggai Elitzur writes that the strikes have pretty widespread support across the Israeli political spectrum. “Military planners want to hit as hard as they can while they have the chance, and the political leadership seems to agree. I’m not so sure it’s all about electioneering, either.”

35. catnip - 28 December 2008


“You have a conservative evangelical pastor who’s coming to participate in the inauguration of a progressive president,”

Rewrite time…

“You have a conservative evangelical pastor who’s coming to participate in the inauguration of a conservative president,”

As for Obama using his daughters to offer a ridiculously simplistic view of the I/P situation, here’s what I wrote to a commenter at my place who tried to make this about you shoot me, I’ll shoot back:

You forgot about the part where I cut off your food, water, electricity and medical care, starkermann, while making it damn near impossible for you to work or leave your home.

36. catnip - 28 December 2008

Delusions of victory in Gaza

Unlike the Lebanon war, whose chief priority was to bring back the abducted IDF soldiers which encompassed the destruction of Hezbollah’s military “infrastructure,” the Gaza operation’s motivation is different: Halting rocket-firing at the Negev and destroying Hamas’ rule. A new order will be set up in the occupied territories and the PA, and Abbas will be brought back to Gaza under the Israeli military’s aegis. Just before we get lost in this dream scenario let us examine reality.

Six months ago Israel asked and received a cease-fire from Hamas. It unilaterally violated it when it blew up a tunnel, while still asking Egypt to get the Islamic group to hold its fire. Are conditions enabling the return of a ceasefire no longer available? Hamas has clear conditions for its extension: The opening of the border crossings for goods and cessation of IDF attacks in Gaza, as outlined in the original agreement. Later, Hamas wants the cease-fire to be extended to the West Bank. Israel, for its part, is justifiably demanding a real calm in Gaza; that no Qassam or mortar shell be fired by either Hamas, Islamic Jihad or any other group.

Essentially, Israel is telling Hamas it is willing to recognize its control of Gaza on the condition that it assumes responsibility for the security of the territory, like Hezbollah controls southern Lebanon. It is likely that this will be the outcome of a wide-scale operation in the Gaza Strip if Israel decides it does not want to rule Gaza directly. Why, then, not forgo the war and agree to these conditions now?

37. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Steve Clemons has up a spineless legless armless thing on the GAZA bombing… the thread is great tho, push back push back…

This is a good one

[T]his looks like an operation that is designed to provoke escalation. After the Democratic nomination was decided, and while the US election was working its way out, the Israelis orchestrated an intentionally temporary cease-fire, and prepared all along to present the new US president with a military fact on the ground that will force his hand in their favor.

The planning apparently took place in June, just a short time after Barack Obama went hat in hand, and with his tail between his legs, to give an Aipac speech that is everything Israel could have asked for. He was accompanied to the private board meeting that followed by his intercessor, Rahm Emanuel, who is now the chief of staff.

One had to expect that, following the humiliating stalemate of the 2006 Lebanon War, Israel would plan something big to get its mojo back. […]

The less optimistic alternative is that the Israelis expect a predictable cycle of counterattacks, sabotage, terrorism, kidnappings and and hostile rhetoric from its regional enemies, and are laying the groundwork here for staged escalation to a broader military campaign, including an air strike on Iran. […]

Steve, to what “higher level” are you referring? Where are the “weeds”? This latest violence isn’t the accidental byproduct of rogues or loose cannons. Both the Israeli government and Hamas seem to be fully awake, at the highest levels, to what they are doing. And for the US government, outside the Oval Office itself, what higher level is there than the Israeli government …snip…

38. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Essentially, Israel is telling Hamas it is willing to recognize its control of Gaza on the condition that it assumes responsibility for the security of the territory, like Hezbollah controls southern Lebanon. — ha’aretz

Does anyone believe this tho… ??

I just heard the Consul General repeatedly say that Hamas ”seized power, by coup in 2006”. EVEN AS he would admit there was an election. It did not matter.

And over and over he and the host John Rothman, who is little but a propagandist much of the time for Israel, linked anything and everything to Iran.

39. Intermittent Bystander - 28 December 2008

FYI to Marisacat – A DK diarist called hahne has posted a “worm’s eye view” about the mismanagement of the No-on-8 campaign, with observations and suggestions that very much echo some of your thoughts on the debacle.

Proposition 8 postmortem – from a senior volunteer.

40. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Thanks for that IB… [ulled it up and reading it now.

Petrelis Files http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/ – a local activist who is not a Democrat nor part of any of the party clubs and whathaveyous – is where I get a lot of info on the No on 8 campaign and aftermath.

Hilariously, right now at the top of the page, he has up the transcript of an actual phone conversation between Allen Ginsberg and Kissinger. Too funny… horrid days, but thru the auspices of the Gene McCarthy campaign (McCarthy himself), K spoke to Allen. What a hoot.

Something a little lighter, anyway…

41. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Snip from another good comment at Clemons’ The Washington Note:

This morning, on C-Span’s call in show, I was struck by how many callers were decrying Israel’s actions, pointing out the atrocities committed by Israel, and lamenting Israel’s stranglehold on US foreign policies. Such a volume of calls against Israel would have been unheard of a little as a year ago. Considering the mass media’s complete failure to report the facts on the plight of the Palestinians, one can only assume that the internet has assumed a far greater role in informing the American public. In turn, we can assume that the next assault Israel will launch against the best interstests of the United States citizenry, will be an assault on our access to information. The truth is just getting too easy for us to access. Look for efforts by Washington to rein the internet, under the guise of advancing this fuckin’ con-job known as “The Global War On Terrorism”. The efforts are already underway, and we can expect them to escalate. Propaganda simply cannot prevail over the openness and honesty of the internet. Criminals like Cheney and Bush cannot ply their crimes un-noticed, and entities such as AIPAC can’t spread their lies unhampered. They MUST shut down the internet, or exercise complete control over it, to continue their abstraction of reality for public consumption.

I am guessing the group[s] seeking to censor YouTube and other sources has been doing some quiet private polling and emphatically does not like what they hear back. TMI is a baaaad thing!

42. catnip - 28 December 2008

38. Does anyone believe this tho… ??

I don’t know but what’s the alternative? We saw what happened when they tried to get rid of Hezbollah in Lebanon. How are they going to get rid of Hamas?

43. catnip - 28 December 2008

I’ll say one thing – so-called progressives will not be able to hide from the I/P issue with Obamalama in charge. They didn’t even have to give it lip service (and wouldn’t) before when the Bush & Condi ME Show was on.

44. marisacat - 28 December 2008

yeah but governments do what they want… not what makes sense to ordinary mortals.

I doubt I could find the link now but I have posted links and cuts to dox and reports that indicate the entire founding military and political reality of Israel decided, by the 50s, that either constant war or the constant threat of war was how they wished to govern …
Seems to me they have stuck to it.. and very rigidly the past years of this decade.

I took particular note that Moshe Dayan was part of the formulation of constant war/threat of war…. Because in more benign (supposedly) times (as a teenager in the 60s) I fell for his and his daughter’s, can’t remember her name now (I see at wiki it is Yael), soft propaganda carried out in Europe.

this is too much like the anti terrorism under Thatcher against the IRA… they had no desire to settle antyhing, but to inflame. 20 years or more of horror. Not that either side is necessarily “good”.

The israeli line that Hamas is utterly the puppet of Iran is too useful to them.

45. marisacat - 28 December 2008


LOL He’ll constantly be said to have a “secret” plan to end this or that. Or make this or that better…

Be interesting to see how long it can run.

46. mattes - 28 December 2008


like I said in the other diary (1.80 / 5)

This is like asking black people to put up someone to argue a pro-black point of view against a bunch of White Supremacists. No one wants to do that here.

Unfortunately “pure free-speech” attracts neo-nazis like mattes and risser and some others. The only way to have an ok blog and be able to discuss issues seriously (like IP) is to ban the racists. Since that is impossible here, you will not get serious argument on the topic.

Unless it’s a masochist.

by: Ender @ Sun Dec 28, 2008

Susan who?

I completely agree with you on this, Ender. (0.00 / 0)

But I very much appreciate Jack’s putting this statement up, anyway.

And that’s all I have to say on the subject.

by: Susan Something @ Sun Dec 28, 2008

What’s a little meta between friends.

47. mattes - 28 December 2008

I prefer “Husseiniac”. (0.00 / 0)

by: Susan Something @ Sun Dec 28, 2008

Getting ugly.


48. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

How are they going to get rid of Hamas?

see Wounded Knee.

I really think they’re going to go for mass destruction this time, and kill a LOT more people. I suspect that casualties already are far over the couple hundred we’ve heard.

49. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

mattes is a neo-Nazi?!?!?

That is beyond silly.

50. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

the Ginsberg stuff is a SCREAM:

G: Talk to him, I will try to arrange a private meeting. It would be good to talk to the Army too, you know the war people and the anti-war people.

K: It i s barely conceivable that there are people who like war.

G: They might have some ideas, they have been to Hanoi.

51. marisacat - 28 December 2008

yeah I got a BIG kick out of the Ginsberg Kissinger chat. Certainly not oging to romanticise the past, but a hard conversation to replicate today.

52. mattes - 28 December 2008

Saw some figures…600 hurt.

new diary:

ISRAEL: Livni, No civilian casualties in Gaza!


I suspect susan who is anti-arab poster.

53. marisacat - 28 December 2008


ugh gone to check FSZ… or Free Kill Zone. Whatever.

54. marisacat - 28 December 2008


I read 700 wounded several hours ago. And Israeli ordnance hit over 100 targets… so… my guess it all rises. As it’s been reported, shortages in the hosptials ensure the kill rate rises.

55. marisacat - 28 December 2008

ugh Ender has real problems. He did not follow the lebanon war closely. It was nasty and pounded out ‘kill from the air’, but the IDF failed miserably on the ground. Out of shape and out of training, and poorly equipped. Like here the AF is all.

I know that Israel is the only nation in the middle (0.00 / 1)

east that can take all the other nations in the middle east together and defeat them. Sure, if arabs tried to rush a few million people into Israel it might come to some serious tonnage of bombs and maybe a nuke here and there, but none of the arab countries in the region come even close to Israeli weapons capability. …snip…

56. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

This kind of shit drives me nuts: Those who have condemned Israel for falling into a trap ought to be just as vocal in condemning Hamas for setting such a trap

not to defend those rocket launches, but the disproportionate level of Israeli aggression, going bck over YEARS … really, how do you make a moral equivalency of these two things?

57. mattes - 28 December 2008

I can’t find links yet MM, but I think this last month the Israelis really put the squeeze on Gaza. i.e. food, heat. And turned away Hamas overtures for ceasefire.

58. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

57- I saw those reports too mattes.

59. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

Madoff probe focuses on tax havens

Sources close to the investigation said forensic accountants examining Madoff’s books believed he had regularly sent large sums of money to offshore accounts in the Caribbean and Europe. “There are accounts at New York Mellon Bank that we have been looking at that appear to have sent and received money from offshore locations,” a senior source said. Tracking down the money investors entrusted to Madoff is likely to be one of the longest and most complicated financial investigations on record.

Harbeck said investigators were dealing with a “highly complex hybrid fraud”, adding each individual investment account operated by Madoff could be its own self-contained fraud. “But it is still too early to say with any certainty what was going on inside Madoff’s business.”

60. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Electronic Intifada reported on the blockade, the closures of the passage points, people dying at the borders.. and so on. People unable to get care for cancer or dialysis, specialised care for all manner of illness. I keep their RSS feed over on the right side bar.

I think the roll up to election and the aftermath, a months long enterprise, was good cover for Israel.

61. marisacat - 28 December 2008


well iirc Israel assisted in the founding of Hamas, as a counterweight.

God knows what the ME would be without so much fucked interference.

62. catnip - 28 December 2008

I know the IDF can get rid of Hamas. Just carpet bomb Gaza (which I’m sure some of them would love to do). Mind you, there are other members of Hamas in places like Syria. And I have no doubt that the war industry keeps chugging along no matter who does or says what where. It must be fed. There’s too much money involved for something as silly as “peace” to overtake it.


FSZ – I though davefromqueens was banned the last time I looked. Banned for being “insane” or some such thing.

63. mattes - 28 December 2008

62…lol, dave has nine lives.

As does the resistance, no matter the name.

A percentage of humans will always fight oppression. IMO.

64. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

some good news:

Federal Court in Louisiana Rules In Favor of Gay Adoptive Fathers

In New Orleans, a gay couple from California has won an important victory after U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey ruled that their adopted son’s Louisiana birth certificate must bear both of their names as the adoptive fathers. Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith of San Diego will be jointly listed under a full faith and credit ruling that could signal a major advance for gay couples and parents.

For many years, there has been a concern over whether the full faith and credit clause would force states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Bill Clinton and others opposed such efforts and passed legislation to confine marriage to heterosexual couples. Zainey’s ruling shows that the clause could trump such federal and state policies.

It’s about time that a case came up that addressed this question.

65. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 December 2008

from the city of brotherly love

Phila. man shot because family talked during movie

By Barbara Boyer

A South Philadelphia man enraged because a father and son were talking during a Christmas showing of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button took care of the situation when he pulled a .380-caliber gun and shot the father, police said.

James Joseph Cialella Jr., 29, of the 1900 block of Hollywood Street is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and weapons violations.

66. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Here is a tidbit from the Star Tribune (AP) report that Turley links to… A cause for hope!

Upton, of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc. of Dallas, said it is the fourth case of its kind that he knows of. Cases in Oklahoma, Virginia and Mississippi also were decided in the parents’ favor — the Mississippi case decided at trial about a month ago, he said.

67. catnip - 28 December 2008

Israel bombs university in Gaza

Israeli air force jets have bombed the Islamic University in the Gaza Strip, a significant cultural symbol for Hamas.

Warplanes also struck Hamas government offices as air raids aimed at forcing Palestinian militants to halt rocket fire into southern Israel continued.

Palestinian medics say nearly 300 people have been killed in the air raids that began on Saturday.

Israel has threatened to launch a ground assault and is now calling up 6,500 army reservists.

Witnesses in Gaza said they saw six separate air strikes on the Islamic University, hitting a laboratory building, just after midnight.

The university is a centre of support for Hamas – the Islamist militant group which controls the Gaza Strip. Many of its top officials graduated from there.

A BBC journalist in Gaza said the university authorities had evacuated the campus a few days ago as they had been expecting a strike.

68. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Violent protest in London at the Israeli Embassy.

69. bayprairie - 28 December 2008

from IB’s link

From the very first volunteer recruiting meeting that I attended, paid staff made it extremely clear that the campaign had used focus groups to determine a messaging strategy, and that the campaign intended to stick by this messaging strategy. We were also informed that Dewey Square had been retained by the campaign as the consulting firm, and that Dewey Square “had never lost one of these ballot measure campaigns”.

from an old dkos thread

The DNC outsources all of their phone banking to private companies, and only one of them is a unionized shop the rest are rapidly anti-union, and faux progressive.

The one unionized shop is being pressured to drop the union, and is partially owned by the Dewey Square Group, a DLC type consulting firm.

by jbou on Thu May 31, 2007 at 07:16:52 PM PST

from another old dkos thread

What about the “consultant” superdelegates? (0+ / 0-)

How many superdelegates are on the campaigns’ payrolls or own or work for companies that are significant vendors to the campaign? Is Harold Ickes a superdelegate? How much are his companies being paid? Is David Axelrod a superdelegate? What about anyone at Mark Penn’s firm or its subsidiaries such as Dewey Square?

Aside from the campaign contributions to elected officials, how much money is going out from the campaigns to those “consultant” superdelegates and their companies?

by Ron Turiello on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 02:12:49 PM PDT

from another old dkos thread

I am hoping Michael Whouley who is the head of Dewey Square Group, political consultants that worked on Gore’s, Clintons, and kerry’s campaigns is helping Gore set something up.

This guy from what I have found out is super secretive and no one knows what he is up to now. But since he worked on the last 4 campaigns its hard for me to believe he is just sitting around now.

I know Hillary wants him but so far I have heard he is not working for her. He hates the media, articles written about him and pics taken. He likes to work behind the scenes.

I have run myself in circles trying to find info on the net about him and all is old stuff so I give up. Have to wait and see.

by marlakay on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 05:40:01 PM PDT

hmmmmm. who’s working for whom

70. marisacat - 28 December 2008

From the Dkos diary IB linked to on Prop 8 The Mess It Was, LOL…

Strategically, the principle that we need to understand is this: the Christian evangelical community has a very long history of rapidly adopting to the use of new media technologies for its communication and expansion use. Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network was built starting from a tiny UHF station back in the days when nobody knew what “UHF” was, and you had to buy the special UHF loop antenna at Radio Shack to even receive his show. Prior to that, evangelicals effectively used radio in the early days of that technology. NEWS FLASH: the Christian Right has learned how to use the internet and all of its modern services. If you’re not savvy about modern internet media, your campaign is at a severe competitive disadvantage. For the proposition 8 campaign, yes-on-8 completely outmaneuvered no-on-8 in the internet media space.

Yes teh conservative movement is so dead. And gone and dried up and blown away. Oh suuure. And the R can so cut loose from the “oogedy boogedy” (grace a Kathleen Parker) religious component.

71. marisacat - 28 December 2008


SOLD OUT from within.. I am tellin’ ya… The party did nto want an obama win twinned with Prop 8 win in CA… And in fact the prop/ballot measure/ initiative that LOST in Az, two years ago IT WON.

This time around AZ used different tactics. They LOST.

[T]he one unionized shop is being pressured to drop the union, and is partially owned by the Dewey Square Group, a DLC type consulting firm.

by jbou on Thu May 31, 2007 at 07:16:52 PM PST

Plus jbou who was an asshole and liked to link to his music was in fact a Call Center operater/worker/low management/Dem party grunt and thug.

72. marisacat - 28 December 2008

Interesting Times Online article, laying out what will be the mantra. Better named, the excuse.

I was GONNA tryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.. really I was! But you saw what happened!…

During a visit to Washington this month Tony Blair, the Special Envoy to the Middle East, was given a personal assurance by Mr Obama that securing peace between Israel and the Palestinians would be a top priority. [as if Tony The Poodle cares! — Mcat] This weekend’s violence has not only greatly complicated such hopes but threatens the President-elect’s foreign policy agenda in the wider Arab world, where any perceived pro-Israeli bias would quickly destroy what goodwill he currently enjoys.

It is now going to be increasingly difficult politically for Mr Obama to launch a diplomatic effort with Tehran – a campaign pledge – while Hamas bombards Israel, a US ally.

73. bayprairie - 28 December 2008

from sourcewatch

Other Democratic presidential nominees worked with DSG (Dewey Square Group) staff during the 2004 primaries: Nick Baldick managed John Edwards’ presidential campaign (and was New Hampshire state director for the Gore campaign in 2000), DSG’s Kiki McLean was a volunteer spokeswoman for Joseph I. Lieberman, and DSG’s John Lapp ran Dick Gephardt’s Iowa campaign.[19][20] Former Howard Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi, in response to an offer of help from DSG’s Baker, asked, “You’re with Edwards, you’re running Kerry, Alper and Whouley are floating around. My question is, how does that work? Do you guys talk to each other?”

you know, i bet they do!

74. marisacat - 28 December 2008

gnu thred…


……………………… 😯 …………………

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