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White on white 13 April 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, Beirut, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.

Mario Testino: Sienna Miller, American Vogue, Rome, 2006

A Positive View: auction of photographs to raise funds for homeless charity Crisis – All proceeds of the exhibition will go to Crisis, the UK’s leading homeless charity for single people

Mario Testino: Sienna Miller, American Vogue, Rome, 2006 — Picture: © Mario Testino, Courtesy of Mario Testino/Art Partner


I see some of the usual suspects are down in Haiti at the same time as Mother Michelle.  Sean Penn, Demi Moore, Ben Stiller…  Susan Sarandon.

Being photographed with children.  Of course.

Reminds me of slams that Angry Arab lobs at Jane Fonda, from the Tom Hayden era.  They, she and Tom, were happy enough to display and disport themselves for the Israeli and US wars, visiting Israel and the Beirut installations for US military.

When it suited them of course.  Picking wars, invasions and occupations to suit.

Sides… 7 January 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Beirut, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, WAR!.


Sydney, Australia: A performer from the Belarus Free Theatre rehearses for a production of Being Harold Pinter [Photograph: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images]

hmm Angry Arab does not screw around:

From the Archives of New York Times

“Published: March 3, 1992

To the Editor:

Contrary to your report on the brouhaha in France stirred by medical aid for George Habash (news article, Jan. 31), Mr. Habash’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was not “the first group to hijack aircraft in the late 1960’s.” Israel originated the practice in 1954.

On Dec. 8 of that year, five Israeli soldiers were captured in Syria, apparently retrieving eavesdropping equipment. On Dec. 12, Israeli jet fighters intercepted a Syrian civilian aircraft flying from Damascus to Egypt, claiming that the plane had violated Israeli airspace.

The following day you reported that this “development appears to have given Israel an unexpected position of strength for negotiating the release of Syria’s prisoners.”

Gen. Moshe Dayan was then Israeli Chief of Staff. The Israeli Prime Minister, Moshe Sharett, wrote in his diary, “It is clear that Dayan’s intention . . . is to get hostages in order to obtain the release of our prisoners in Damascus.”

Contrary to General Dayan’s hopes, no exchange took place. Prime Minister Sharett added that the United States State Department complained that “our action was without precedent in the history of international practice.”


Associate, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
New York, Feb. 18, 1992″ (thanks Sam)

Posted by As’ad at 12:42 PM

Does. not. screw. around…

Origins of Terrorism in the Middle East

Who Started Terrorism in the Arab-Israeli Conflict?

Bombs in Cafes: first used by Zionists in Palestine on March 17th, 1937 in Jaffa.

Bombs on Buses: first used by Zionists in Palestine Aug. 20th-Sep. 26, 1937.

Bombs in Market Places: first used by Zionists on July 6th, 1938 in Haifa.

Bombing of Hotels: first used by Zionists on July 22nd, 1946 in Jerusalem.

Bombing of Foreign Embassies: first used by Zionists on October 1st, 1946 in Rome (against the British).

Mining of Ambulances: First used by Zionists on October 31st, 1946 in Petah Tikvah.

Letter Bombs: first used by Zionists in June 1947 against British targets in UK.

(for documentation, consult The Arab Women’s Information Committee and The Institute for Palestine Studies, Who Are the Terrorists? Aspects of Zionist and Israeli Terrorism, (Beirut: Insitute for Palestine Studies, 1972).

Posted by As’ad at 11:48 AM


Nor do the cartoonists … from the Independent on December 31 by Dave Brown:


If it’s not clear, he’s zipping his mouth shut.

Sorry to say that, as usual, we are on the WRONG side.  We are.  The only “side” I care to take (because it is all about power)  is the side of those under the bombs, the wounded, the dying, the dead.  The terrified.  One reason I reject this blackmail of “Support the Troops”… some of them fit inside my parameters.  Especially those shoved back into battle, plug full of psychotropics and other drugs. Or back door drafted for the third, fourth, fifth time..

But, no matter what, we are on the wrong side.

[I]srael’s disregard for innocent human life is not motivated only by a desire to forestall the political consequences — especially during an electoral campaign — of Israeli military casualties. It is also a clear indicator of the contempt that Israel has for Palestinian life in general. The cold, hungry, tired, desperate, and terrified men, women and children that Israel is now sweeping away by the dozen in balls of fire and showers of shrapnel are the very same people that it had already reduced to what one UN official months ago warned was “a subhuman existence,” the deliberate product of the siege that Israel has imposed on Gaza for over three years, beginning in 2005, before the election of Hamas. They are the same people whose political and human rights Israel has been stifling since the occupation of 1967 — 20 years before the creation of Hamas. They are the same people who were ethnically cleansed from their land in 1948 because, as non-Jews, they were inconveniently cluttering up the land that European Zionists wanted to turn into a Jewish state, no matter what the land’s actual population had to say about it.  ..snip..

The author goes on to quote Arnon Soffer, an Israeli “geostrategist” (I linked to two interviews JPost had with him – found via Tiny Revolution – a couple threads back):

If you think I’m stretching the point, I’m not. Listen to the words of Professor Arnon Sofer, the government consultant who did so much to help plan the isolation and imprisonment of Gaza, in a interview with the Jerusalem Post in 2004:

“When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe,” Sofer predicted.

“Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure on the border is going to be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.”

Sofer admitted only one worry with all the killing, which will, he says, be the necessary outcome of a policy that he himself helped to invent.

The only thing that concerns me,” he says, “is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings.”


From the link to photos that CSTAR provided the other night…


Palestinos que abandonaram suas casas para escapar da ofensiva israelense na faixa de Gaza acomodam-se em escola da ONU, em Jabalia [Hatem Moussa-05.jan.2009/AP]

I don’t know that this is the UN sponsored school that was hit, the one targeted was in the same Jabaliyah refugee camp,  I have read that there are at least 5 such schools in Gaza (which is all of 1.5 miles long and .5 wide)… but it certainly appears to be a refuge that the UN tried to offer,  on ordinary days.

On the wrong side.

Bomb bomb bomb bomb Palestine… 31 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Beirut, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, WAR!.


Palestinian women crossed a street during a demonstration against Israel’s military operation in Gaza, in the Shuafat refugee camp, on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Monday. [Photo: Dan Balilty/Associated Press/NYT]

And Israel says NO!

Israel appears to have rejected a French proposal for a 48-hour lull in the Gaza offensive and will continue its attacks against Hamas, reports suggested today.

Bernard Kouchner, the French Foreign Minister, proposed the “humanitarian ceasefire” to Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister yesterday.

The plan, which would allow aid shipments to enter the besieged strip where 1.5 million Palestinians have weathered four days of bombardment, was passed to Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister, who discussed it with his foreign and defence ministers overnight.

But the meeting ended with a decision to continue operations, according to government officials, the Associated Press reported. The security Cabinet will discuss the continuation of the offensive later today.

Fisk has a new one up:

Hamas – like all the other Palestinian outfits – is infected with spies, some working for the Palestinian Authority, others for the Israelis. Israel has successively murdered one Hamas leader after another – “targeted killing”, of course, is their polite phrase – and they couldn’t do that without, as the police would say, “inside help”. Hizbollah’s previous secretary general, Sayed Abbas Moussawi, was assassinated near Jibchit by a missile-firing Israeli helicopter more than a decade ago but the movement hasn’t suffered a leader’s murder in Lebanon since then. In the 34-day war of 2006, Hizbollah lost about 200 of its men. Hamas lost almost that many in the first day of Israel’s air attacks in Gaza – which doesn’t say much for Hamas’ military precautions.


Israel, however – always swift to announce its imminent destruction of “terrorism” – has never won a war in a built-up city, be it Beirut or Gaza, since its capture of Jerusalem in 1967. And it’s important to remember that the Israeli army, famous in song and legend for its supposed “purity of arms” and “elite” units, has proved itself to be a pretty third-rate army over recent years. Not since the 1973 Middle East conflict – 35 years ago – has it won a war. Its 1978 invasion of Lebanon was a failure, its 1982 invasion ended in disaster, propelling Arafat from Beirut but allowing its vicious Phalangist allies into the Sabra and Chatila camps where they committed mass murder. In neither the 1993 bombardment of Lebanon nor the 1996 bombardment of Lebanon – which fizzled out after the massacre of refugees at Qana – nor the 2006 war was its performance anything more than amateur. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the fact Arab armies are even more of a rabble than the Israelis, the Israeli state would be genuinely under threat from its neighbours.

However.. they level a lot on the way to all those failures.

Report from ABC that the weather has intervened, and established a semi ceasefire.  It is raining and foggy in Gaza, visibility is low and the mud will forestall the start of a ground war.

Is there a 24 hour drive thru window where Gawd lives?  If so he woke up and gave a small break to a war.  Do you want a large or small Coke to go with that?  Have a Happy Day!


From Angry Arab and his first ex wife (he has two, LOL)

Palestinian Children “Pretending” to be Injured and killed

“If necessary, sympathetic photographers take pictures of children who pretend to be injured, and once they are published in Western newspapers these claims become fact.”

Kathy (my 1st ex-wife) sent me this with the comment: ”

Barry Fucking Rubin and David Fucking Frum. I thought I had heard it all.”

I don’t know why catnip won’t take Frum back.


I was looking over this splutter from Tomasky in the Guardian… scanning the comments and saw one that signed off saying,

“Glad not to be from Illinois,  a NY Demo”

Oh sweetie!… we are all in the same lock box.  Even having left the party you cannot get away from what increasingly looks like a cheap and worn out  commuter bus filled with Gawd knows who.

I don’t care whether they claw each other to death or congeal in the heat of the overloaded bus, but let it happen.

Happy End to 2008, which from a report I read somewhere, is fractionally longer than other years, due to some tilt of the earth… or something.  Not surprising.


Here is a lovely thing:

“I call on you
I press your hands
I kiss the ground under your feet
and I say: I sacrifice myself for you
I give you as a gift
the light of my eyes
and the warmth of heart, I give you
My tragedy that I live
Is my share of your tragedies
I call on you
I press your hands
I kiss the ground under your feet
and I say: I sacrifice myself for you
I did not humiliate myself in my homeland
and I did not lower my shoulders
I stood facing my oppressors
orphaned, naked, and bare foot
I call on you
I press your hands
I kiss the ground under your feet
and I say: I sacrifice myself for you
I carried my blood on my palm
I never lowered my flags
and I cared for the green grass
over the graves of my ancestors”

From the poem I Call On You by Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad (As’ad translation)  He has several posted


A protester peers through the gates of the Thai parliament, where thousands of demonstrators loyal to ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra have gathered to oppose the new Thai government. [AP/BBC]

More protest… [update] 28 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Beirut, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Divertissements, Europe, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, Spain, WAR!.


David Bates: ‘I took this picture in a car park in Spain. A very imaginative use of a hole in a wall. Maybe it is a scream for help or just a clever piece of graffiti’ [Photograph: David Bates – Reader Photographs – Guardian]

I hardly go to HuffWuffMuffPo anymore.. and I am sure i miss a lot.. but it became too much like a tabloid during the primaries and the GE.  Just too devoid of anything near reality.

But I dropped in and see this from Sam Stein, who I think has operated as a factoid, quote and whatever else upchucker for Obster… and is still at it…

One of Barack Obama’s chief spokesmen repeated on Sunday that it would be counterproductive for the president-elect to weigh too deeply into the crisis between Israel and Hamas while another commander-in-chief occupied the Oval Office.

But David Axelrod, appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, did reaffirm Obama’s commitment to the “special relationship between the United States and Israel” in a way that suggested general sympathy for the Jewish state’s actions.

Speaking a day after Israeli airstrikes, targeting and destroying Hamas facilities in Gaza, killed more than 275, Axelrod said the president-elect, from on-the-ground experience, understood the urge for retaliatory action.

Last July, Obama visited Sderot, a southern Israel town on the border of the Gaza Strip that has taken the brunt of Hamas attacks, Axelrod reminded host Chip Reid. “He said then that when bombs are raining down on your citizens, there is an urge to respond and act to try to put an end to that. That’s what he said then. I think that’s what he believes.”

OH too funny… if Axelrod does not know what Ob believes then no one does.


But the ascension of Hamas to political power has complicated not just regional politics but Obama’s approach to the matter. During the course of the election, his view on the organization seemed to harden. And when it was reported that his former church had reprinted a pro-Hamas op-ed in its bulletin, Obama offered deliberately strong lines of disapproval.

Hamas is a “terrorist organization,” he opined, “responsible for the deaths of many innocents, and dedicated to Israel’s destruction, as evidenced by their bombarding of Sderot in recent months. I support requiring Hamas to meet the international community’s conditions of recognizing Israel, renouncing violence, and abiding by past agreements before they are treated as a legitimate actor.”

He’s so fucking boxed in.  If he does that… he’s a secret muslim!  Or if he does this, then he really did listen to the Wright epistles, newsletters (given out at the services) and the various essays…

I think that suits Ob. And in the end, it all comes back to status quo.

I went back to that spineless, legless, armless post of Clemons’… to the thread … snipped from a comment:

[I] was in Israel in November listening to various Cabinet members assure the settlers on the status of peace negotiations.

Here is the deal – the Palestinians get about 75% of the west bank with Israel getting 25 years to remove the settlements that will ultimately give them about 91.7%.  Israel retains control of the West Bank aquifers and all water resources in Palestinian territory. In addition, Israel controls the Jordan border and ALL ingress and egrees from the West Bank is forever under Israel control. Jerusalem for the Palestinians was a dead issue with the expansion of Har Homa meaning East Jerusalem is forever cut off from the rest of the West Bank.  …

This peace crap has been going on for 40 years including the intensive Annapolis talks. If Israel really wants peace they could have had at any time over the past couple decades if they would be fair. Meanwhile the settlements expand and new ones crop up and within 10 years a two state solution will be impossible. Do you realize there are 500,000 Jews on the other side of the Green Line? Do you really think Israel would move them? That’s why the peace talks always remain talk – Israel could not move these people. That is why we get delays and subject changes(like the Gaza bombing) to indefinitely delay the time when Israel has to make serious decisions.

There’s not a lot of newer noooz around (we are in one of those holding pens of war) but down in the guts of an AFP article there is this…………. restating what’s been stated but also what is apparent to anyone sane:

[A]nd the UN envoy to the Middle East Robert Serry called for a new truce with international backing, telling AFP in an interview that there was no military solution to the conflict.

But a senior Israeli official insisted: “We have our goals and our timetable, and we don’t seek mediation.”

Israel in the meanwhile announced it would allow 100 truck-loads of humanitarian aid into Gaza on Monday but said it would maintain its crippling blockade on the impoverished territory. […]

The beat goes on in the abattoir…

[T]he Israeli offensive sparked protests across the world. In the occupied West Bank, two demonstrators were killed in clashes with police.

Israel unleashed “Operation Cast Lead” against Hamas in the middle of Saturday morning, with some 60 warplanes hitting more than 50 targets in just a few minutes.

By Sunday, some 230 targets had been hit, the military said.

Hamas has responded by firing more than 90 rockets and mortar rounds at Israel, killing one man and wounding some 20 people.

The Israeli blitz came after days of spiralling violence since the expiry of the Gaza truce. It comes less than two months before snap parliamentary elections in Israel called for February 10.

Whenever anything big breaks out, Electronic Intifada starts running eyewitness diaries from those on the ground:

[E]yewitnesses said two Israeli missiles had destroyed the station. One had soared through a children’s playground and a busy fruit and vegetable market before striking its target.

Civilians dead

There was blood on a broken plastic yellow slide, and a crippled, dead donkey with an upturned vegetable cart beside it. Aubergines and splattered blood covered the ground. A market trader present during the attack began to explain in broken English what happened: “It was full here, full, three people dead, many, many injured.” An elderly man with a white kuffiyeh scarf around his head threw his hands down to his blood-drenched trousers and cried, “Look! Look at this! Shame on all governments, shame on Israel, look how they kill us, they are killing us and what does the world do? Where is the world, where are they, we are being killed here, hell upon them!” …snip…

It will be something, at least, of we don’t get a repeat of the silencio across the aligned blogs, like we had during the war against Lebanon in 2006.


Not like it requires courage, ffs.


UPDATE, 2:02 am PT

While I was at Press TV, saw this – full text –

Mystery surrounds Gaza port condition

Mon, 29 Dec 2008 07:58:57 GMT

Israel may have bombed the Gaza seaport amid Iranian plans to send a ship to deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged coastal strip.

It seems that the Gaza seaport was the latest target of Israeli attacks, Press TV’s Gaza correspondent, Yousef al-Helou, reported after explosions were heard around the port.

It is no longer clear whether aid ships will be able to dock at the port as Tel Aviv has also bombed the area late Sunday.

The news comes amid plans for aid deliveries to the coastal area to begin via the sea.

As well, Press TV had “Breaking News”:

Medical sources have confirmed to a Press TV reporter at the scene that at least 1550 Gazans have been injured and 310 have been killed.

An earlier shipment of Iranian aid supplies has gone to Cairo by plane..

Link to Press TV’s Palestine page.

Saturday… 13 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, Beirut, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Pakistan, WAR!.


April 5 2008:  Competitive streak. Not to be outdone by two aides who each did a pair of pull-ups, Obama does three before stepping out to address the crowd at the University of Montana [ Callie Shell/Aurora for Time]

Some sweet nothings from the likes of Odierno and Gates:

BALAD, Iraq (AP) — Despite a summer deadline to pull American combat troops from urban areas, thousands will stay in cities to support and train Iraqis, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said Saturday.

Even with the mandate in the recently approved U.S.-Iraq security agreement, there have been suggestions some troops would not leave urban areas.

But Gen. Raymond Odierno was the first military leader to acknowledge some forces would remain at local security stations, as training and mentoring teams.

“We believe we should still be inside those after the summer,” he said the sprawling U.S. base in Balad, north of Baghdad before welcoming Defense Secretary Robert Gates on a brief visit.

Iraq’s prime minister upbraided his top government spokesman for saying some U.S. soldiers might need to remain in the country for many more years. “What was announced about the Iraqi forces needing 10 years in order to be ready is only his personal point of view and it doesn’t represent the opinion of the Iraqi government,” Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office said in a written statement Saturday.

It’s been clear since brigades and divisions of troops were reclassified from “combat” to “training” that we will die fully engaged, in a hail of shrapnel and fussilage, fully dressed for combat but called “trainers” and ”advisors”.

He [Odierno] added, “We don’t want to take a step backward because we’ve made so much progress here.”

Gates in Manama, Bahrain before he moved on to an unannounced stop at Balad:

“I can assure you that a change in administration does not alter our fundamental interests, especially in the Middle East.”

He said a few other things too…  Not that any of it is news.  I am reminded of how “managed” our presidents are.  Even Eisenhower. From the version I have read, the reason he did not deliver his speech using his own preferred words, ”Military Industrial Congressional Complex” is that “senior Republican aides” removed the offending  word.

The “aides” were senators and interested parties, would be my guess.  And, Eisenhower, whatever one thought of him, came to the job with military experience, a general of the European campaign and VE day.

Merry merry…


Imperium 11 May 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Beirut, Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, WAR!.

Violence in Beirut: The government and opposition have been locked in a 17-month power struggle, which has meant Lebanon being without a head of state for the past five months. [Agence France Presse via BBC]

How long can it hold? 10 years? 25? 40? There was never any question for me, they went into Iraq on the 50, 100 year model (it’s not just McCain). They think it cannot end. They cannot think it can end.

A reich.


Mother and Child Killed by US Troops in Northern Iraq

“Coalition forces fired three warning shots, but the driver refused to stop and one man made threatening movements from inside the vehicle,” the military said in a statement.

“Coalition forces responded to the perceived threat and engaged the vehicle.”

It said a woman and a child in the vehicle were killed, along with the two armed men.

The military said it regretted the deaths of civilians.

If there was anything left to say about the invasion and occupation, I would. I see the baby’s pacifier beside her… The short Reuters report says the US mil were after suspected AQ. Of which, for our purposes, there will be an unlimited supply.

All we will have going forward is Jesus-Presidents. Wars so futile have to be holy.


Here a coalition, there a coalition… 11 February 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Beirut, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, WAR!.

    anti war protestor
         Anti war protestor

The jackhammers have returned… [strangle] so I am splitting the difference and making use of a really good diary from Market Trustee, looking at the split coalition issues in this series of primaries and caucuses between O and H…  MT offers some interesting choices for resolution, on BO’s part…

oh that split coalition, he’s got some, she’s got some… and this is yet again a nasty run…  is giving the party some daytime nightmares.  😉

Just links, as these are not new (from the time of his AIPAC speech last year), but this is a good place to park them…. How Obama left the Middle Easterners in his district, and their issues, behind… and moved on to seek succor from Jewish donors. 

How Barack Obama learned to love Israel
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2007

Barack Obama’s Middle East Surge
by James Cross / March 4th 2007 

It’s an old story.  They’ve all got their bended knee obeisance to AIPAC/Israel on the record – hell, they flew Kerry out to Masada so he could pledge his fealty at dawn… doesn’t make it RIGHT tho.


The wars………… 19 November 2007

Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, Beirut, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, The Battle for New Orleans, WAR!.

  New Orleans April 2005
      New Orleans – April – 2005

I landed on this linkless snip in a thread at Rigorous Intuition, from Randall Robinson of TransAfrica, on with Amy / Democracy Now.  I am hunting for the original DN link (hard to do as he references the move to St Kitts Nevis often when on the show and has appeared many times over the years since the move, 2001)

– anyway, I think in his references to “bottom stuck” and how America feels it has “done enough” post slavery, de jure apartheid and post Jim Crow, think RR is absolutely on target:

AMY GOODMAN: Why did you quit? Why did you leave America?

RANDALL ROBINSON: Well, we were — my wife, Hazel, and I, with our daughter Kalia were going to a place as much as we were leaving this place. St. Kitts-Nevis is a small exquisitely beautiful, democratic, well-run, civil, decent society, where people care about each other and take care of each other.

 These were qualities I had come to find hopelessly lacking, absent, in American society. I had discovered at this age — I was 60 when we left — that I wanted to live in a society for some time, some portion of my life, where race did not have to be a battlement, that one could get beyond that and not feel it always in one’s craw. And it’s a kind of thing that it used up so much of my energy, and the energy of so many in the United States.

But perhaps more importantly, that after the active stage of this great crime against humanity, slavery and de jure discrimination that put together ran for 346 years, America became very satisfied with itself, that it had done all that it was going to do, while the victims of this long-running crime were left wounded in the worst way: families destroyed, chances for healthy socializations gone, prospects nil, and so the main bulk of the black community remained bottom stuck.

 The civil rights movement helped people like me, people who had come from intact families, whose parents were healthy enough to encourage us to believe that we could do well. And so, it meant that the door was open, if you could walk, perhaps could you get through it, but many could not, and they remained bottom stuck. Black community cleaved into two parts: those who could benefit and those who were too terribly devastated to do so. Nothing has been done for them.

So, we find ourselves now in a situation in America with a society in terrible shape, but with that condition, fundamentally ignored by those who rule it. It just does not matter, even as it jeopardizes the whole of society. A poll was done recently that showed that a full half of Americans are afraid to venture more than a mile from their homes at night. The whole society has become a sort of prison. We have one 1/20ths of the world’s population with one-fourth of the world’s prisoners. There’s something wrong with that, 2 million and climbing, half of whom are black, because of the reasons I detailed, in addition to the active discrimination that is ongoing.

The chance of a black getting arrested, a young black male, are six times that of his white counterpart, of being incarcerated seven times, and once incarcerated will serve a sentence exactly twice as long as his white counterpart for the same crime. Blacks are half of those on death row, three-quarters when they are added to the Hispanic inmate populations. So, this business of locking up people has become a new thriving industry in America with private prisons, in a democracy, which means that in order to have your stock increase in value in a private prison, you have to get more prisoners. So, states like California are investing much more in prison construction than they are in ground-up construction of new universities.

   Ed Kashi

And all of this goes on with the full blessing of not just governments that come and go, Democratic and Republican, but with the full blessing of media, the popular culture, and all of the rest.

In our foreign policy, this hyperpower, I think is coming to endanger the entire world, because now it operates willy-nilly without checks and balances. Iraq is just one example of the kind of disaster that is possible when we have a nation so powerful, so full of itself, unwilling to examine itself, self absorbed, and narcissistic in all of what that means, that it will go forward against the grain of the international community unilaterally, to create the disaster that Iraq will be for many generations to come. It won’t work.

To think that we now in Iraq have Muslim women becoming prostitutes, servicing American soldiers just feeds the kind of hatred that is growing and felt towards Americans throughout the Islamic world. It’s a very sad thing, and we get to a point that we cannot make America listen anymore to anybody but itself.I — I just — to preserve my sanity, and I think my voice, I thought it best for me to leave. I wanted to see another place, to feel …

and there the snip in the RigInt thread cut off…



The other thing is a Reuters report I fell on….. about women serving in the IDF.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – One posed for a photo as she scrubbed a Palestinian corpse. Another stripped a man to his underwear and then beat him. A third helped cover up the abuse of a young boy.

The six Israeli women who feature in the documentary “To See If I’m Smiling” each wrestle with memories of their compulsory military service that they would rather erase.

But after years of trying to bury the past, they have spoken out in a film that explores the darker side of Israel’s 40-year-old occupation of the Palestinian territories and examines its impact on a generation of young men and women.

All but one of the women spent time as conscript soldiers in the Palestinian territories during the uprising that erupted in 2000. In the film, they recount their memories from that period, describing how they coped with military machismo and with the residual guilt about what they witnessed.

   propganda before the killing of Rabin

[Y]arom hopes the documentary will prompt soul-searching in the Jewish state, where military service is a core part of national identity, and encourage other traumatized ex-soldiers to talk about violence they may have inflicted or witnessed.

“This country is in a coma. With all the bombs and attacks, we are numb,” she said.

“People feel we are in a war of survival and it’s better not to criticize soldiers, because they are the ones protecting us.”

Israel’s army said in a statement that soldiers adhere to a strict ethical code and that in exceptional cases, where the code is violated, an investigation is launched. It said the number of ethical violations involving Palestinians had “consistently dropped” since the events described in the film.

Yarom expects the film, which is due to be televised this weekend, to provoke criticism both from the Israeli left — because of her sympathetic portrayal of the soldiers — and from the right — which often balks at criticizing the army.

Yarom said personal experience prompted her to make the film. As a support soldier during the earlier intifada of the 1980s, she was shown a Palestinian torture victim but failed to speak out.

Almost two decades later, she still cannot shake the image of the man, slumped over a generator, his neck bent to the side and his face covered in blood.

“It’s the kind of picture that stays with you forever,” she said. “During my service I detached myself. When you try to re-attach yourself afterwards it’s painful.”

I wish I thought there were a way out – anytime soon.  It is just so immense, so world-wide, so all-encompassing and crushing  of anything resembling a political process in this country – that I am not hopeful…. 


Well… what do we expect? 19 September 2007

Posted by marisacat in Beirut, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, WAR!.

    Gaza - armed Palestinian women - July 18 2006

      Gaza – armed Palestinian women – July 18 2006

    Cover of the UK Independent

      Cover of the UK Independent – July 2006

  needs no explanation… [map originally found at left i on the news]

   Delhi - Friday prayers - July 2006

     Delhi – Friday prayers – July 2006

     Map of Israeli bombing and destruction  - July 12 - 25 2006

  map of locations bombed in Lebanon – July 12 -25 2006 [13 of 34 days of the campaign]


Extermination 17 September 2007

Posted by marisacat in Beirut, California / Pacific Coast, Israel/AIPAC, WAR!.

  Photograph from memorial publication of El Semanal, Spain, 2002

photograph from El Semanal, a 2002 memorial publication for the massacre at the Sabra and Chatila camps, inside Lebanon.

I remember how the news broke, at least the news of it that I read… from a Norwegian film crew… tipped off.  They waited and watched the Christian Phalange militiamen enter the camp..

It’s a very beautiful fall day here in Beirut today. Twenty-five years ago this week since the massacre at the Palestinian refugee camps at Sabra-Shatilla. Bright blue sky and a fall breeze. It actually rained last night.  Enough to clean out some of the humidity and dust.  Fortunately not enough to make the usual rain created swamp of sewage and filth on Rue Sabra, or flood the grassless burial ground of the mass grave (the camp residents named it Martyrs Square, one of several so named memorials now in Lebanon) where you once told me that on Sunday September 19, 1982, you watched, sickened, as families and Red Crescent workers created a subterranean mountain of butchered and bullet-riddled victims from those 48 hours of slaughter. Some of the bodies had limbs and heads chopped off, some boys castrated, Christian crosses carved into some of the bodies. 

I have left out the worst of the remembrance of the killing.  It is in the article,  a poignant letter to the woman mentioned above, who watched that day… when the fury of the killing was over.

Since you went away, the main facts of the massacre remain the same as your research uncovered in the months that followed. At that time your findings were the most detailed and accurate as to what occurred and who was responsible.

The old 7-storey Kuwaiti Embassy from where Sharon, Eytan, Yaron, Elie Hobeika, Fradi Frem and others maintained radio contact and monitored the 48 hours of carnage with a clear view into the camps was torn down years ago. A new one has been built and they are still constructing a mosque on its grounds.

I am sorry to report that today in Lebanon, the families of the victims of the massacre daily sink deeper into the abyss. No where on earth do the Palestinians live in such filth and squalor. ‘Worse than Gaza!” a journalist recently in Palestine exclaims.

A 2005 Lebanese law that was to open up access to some of the 77 professions the Palestinians have been barred from in Lebanon had no effect.  Their social, economic, political, and legal status continues to worsen.

Just a little more, to bring it forward..

Remember that fellow you once screamed at and called a butcher outside of Phalange HQ in East Beirut, Joseph Haddad?  At the time he denied everything as he looked you straight in the eye and made the sign of the cross.   Well, he did finally confess 22 years later, around the time of his youngest daughter’s confirmation in his local parish. Your suspicions were indeed correct. His unit, the second to enter the camp, had been supplied with cocaine, hashish and alcohol to increase their courage. He and others gave their stories to Der Spiegel and various documentary film makers.

Many of the killers now freely admit that they conducted  a  three-day orgy of rape and slaughter that left hundreds, as many as 3,500 they claim, possibly more, of innocent civilians dead in what is considered the bloodiest single incident of the Arab-Israeli conflict and a crime for which Israel will be condemned for eternity.

Your friend, Um Ahmad, still lives in the same house where she lost her husband, four sons and a daughter when Joseph, a thick-set militiaman carrying an assault rifle bundled everyone into one room of their hovel and opened fire. She still explains like it was yesterday, how the condoned slaughter unfolded, recalling each of her four sons by name, Nizar, Shadi, Farid and Nidal. I asked Joseph if he wanted to sit with Um Ahmad and seek forgiveness and possible redemption since has now become a lay cleric in his Parish.   He declined but sent his condolences with flowers.

It never goes away, as it is still happening:

Do you remember Janet, how we used to walk down Rue Sabra from Gaza Hospital to Akka Hospital during the 75-day Israeli siege in ’82, as you used to say “to see my people”?  Gaza Hospital is gone now. Occupied and stripped by the Syrian-backed Amal militia during the Camp Wars of ’85-87. Its remaining rooms are now packed with refugees.

One old lady who ended up there recited how it’s her 4th home since being forced from Palestine in 1948.  She survived the Phalangist attack on and destruction of Tel a Zaatar camp in 1976 fled from the Fatah al Islam Salafists in Nahr al Bared Camp in May of this year and wore out her welcome at the teeming and overwhelmed Bedawi camp near Tripoli last month.

To make certain the re-telling has not a drop of cool water nor breath of air:

Janet Lee Stevens was born in 1951 and died on April 18, 1983, at the age of 32, at the instant of the explosion which destroyed the American Embassy in Beirut.  Twenty minutes before the blast, Janet had arrived at the Embassy to meet with US A.I.D. official Bill McIntyre because she wanted to advocate for more aid to the Shia of South Lebanon  and for the  Palestinians at  Sabra, Shatilla, and Burg al Burajneh camps,  stemming from Israel’s 1982 invasion and the  September 15-18 massacre.  As they sat at a table in the cafeteria, where she had planned to ask why the US government has never even lodged a protest following the Israeli invasion or the Massacre, a van stolen from the Embassy the previous June  arrived and parked just in front of the Embassy.  Almost directly in front of the cafeteria.  It contained 2,000 pounds of explosives. It was detonated by remote control and tons of concrete pancaked on top of Janet and Bill, killing 63 and wounding 120.  


While I was at Counterpunch I noticed a good piece on the recent events at UC at Irvine…  it’s always good to remember that Joe Lieberman is very much a leader in the 21st century, post 9/11 Democratic party.  Here is a very pointed snip:

This is the latest chapter in the post September 11 attack on academic freedom under the guise of protecting security.   Two weeks after 9/11, former White House spokeman Ari Fleischer cautioned Americans “they need to watch what they say, watch what they do.”  The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a group founded by Lynne Cheney and Senator Joe Lieberman, accused universities of being the weak link in the war on terror; it included the names of 117 “un-American” professors, students and staff members.  A few months later, a blacklisting Internet cite called Campus Watch was launched.  It publishes dossiers on scholars who criticize U.S. Middle East policy and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.  Earlier this year, the Bruin Alumni Association at UCLA offered students $100 to tape left-wing professors.

Really, I have nothing in common with these people.  Any of them.


While we are on the fundies, of all stripes, Tom Dispatch has a post up, interview with James Carroll of the Boston Globe, he is also the son of the founding director of the DIA… here is something to gag on your Breakfast of Champions over:

Carroll: Yes, what happened there was striking. Take just this example: A couple of years ago, Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ rendered in profoundly fundamentalist ways, most terribly, the death of Jesus as caused by “the Jews,” not the Romans. In that movie, Pilate is a good guy; the Jewish high priest the villain. Gibson justified this by saying it was how the Gospels tell the story, which is literally true. A fundamentalist reading of the Gospel story ignores what we know from history and from scientific inquiry and analysis of the Gospels. It wasn’t “the Jews” who murdered Jesus, it was the Romans, pure and simple.


And then that film was featured at the United States Air Force Academy. Its commanders made it clear that every one of the cadets, over 4,000 of them, was supposed to see that movie. Repeatedly over a week, every time cadets went into H. H. Arnold mess hall, they found fliers on their dinner plates announcing that this movie was being shown. I saw posters that said: “See the Passion of the Christ” and “This is an official Air Force Academy event, do not remove this poster.”

As a result of that film, there was an outbreak of pressure, practically coercion, by born-again evangelical Christians aimed at non-Christian cadets and, in a special way, at Jews. This went on for months and when the whistle was blown by a Jewish cadet and his father, the Air Force denied it, tried to cover it up. Yale University sent a team from the Yale Divinity School to investigate. They issued a devastating report. The commander at the academy was finally removed; the Air Force was forced to acknowledge that there was a problem. [I cannot believe much, if anything, changed  — Mcat]


In the Pentagon today, there is active proselytizing by Christian groups that is allowed by the chain of command. When your superior expects you to show up at his prayer breakfast, you may not feel free to say no. It’s not at all clear what will happen to your career. He writes your efficiency report. And the next thing you know, you have, in the culture of the Pentagon, more and more active religious outreach.

Imagine, then, a military motivated by an explicit Christian, missionizing impulse at the worst possible moment in our history, because we’re confronting an enemy — and yes, we do have an enemy: fringe, fascist, nihilist extremists coming out of the Islamic world — who define the conflict entirely in religious terms. They, too, want to see this as a new “crusade.” That’s the language that Osama bin Laden uses. For the United States of America at this moment to allow its military to begin to wear the badges of a religious movement is a disaster!

Don’t have to imagine it, we have it...  Honestly, i am more worried about the enemy within than without.