Asia Times [Updated] 30 August 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Beirut, Culture of Death, DC Politics, France, Iran, Israel/AIPAC, Paris, WAR!.
Miss Devore | |
a military strike against Iran would truly be the end of this country. and the people who would make that decision know that they will be shielded from the consequences.
and really, the only way to cover-up the disaster of the Iraq war is to have a world war that makes Iraq a footnote.
Aug 30, 6:34 AM
As the four pieces I want to pop up with this morning are from Asia Times, seems a fair title.
Armed and ready for Iran
By William Hawkins
On July 29, just a few days before the US Congress went on its August recess, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns held a press briefing in Washington outlining how the George W Bush administration plans to arm Sunni states in the Middle East to contain Iranian expansion.
Taken in conjunction with the escalating charges from the White House that Iran is aiding the insurgency in Iraq, and the threat to brand the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization (a step up from listing Tehran as a state sponsor of terrorism), this new round of arms sales indicates a regional strategy that is looking beyond the fighting in Iraq to consider the entire region to be an interlinked theater of war.
The arms deal with Israel was signed in Jerusalem on August 16. At the signing, Burns put the aid to Israel in the context of the Iran-Syria axis and its support for Hezbollah and Hamas, all enemies of the Jewish state. But he then went on to say, “We have said to the congressional leadership that we intend to seek their support for increased military assistance to our friends in the Gulf: to Saudi Arabia and to Kuwait and to Bahrain and to Qatar, [to] the United Arab Emirates and to Oman. All of this together represents a signal from the United States that our country is strong in this region, that we intend to be a good friend to our allies and our partners in this region.”
This was an explicit setting of Israel and the Sunni Arabs together in a US-backed security alignment.
Pepe Escobar has a piece up:
The hyperactive “Sarkozy the First” – as he is widely referred to in France – has just pronounced his first major foreign-policy speech, to an annual conference of 200-odd French ambassadors from posts around the world. He took no time to engage himself in the current White House and neo-conservative-promoted Iran-demonization campaign.
Neo-cons and their ilk in France, plus mostly sycophant media, obviously loved it, with instant geopoliticians raving about the “prudent” and “firm” stand behind Sarkozy’s rhetoric.
He said an Iranian nuclear bomb would be “unacceptable” – as if the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was on the verge of discovering one or two hidden under a pile of exquisite Hamadan carpets.
Sarkozy is in favor of even more sanctions against Iran, but is willing to talk in the event the Islamic Republic suspends its nuclear-enrichment program, which Iran has a right under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to pursue. So Iran must renounce an inalienable right for the West to be willing to discuss substance.
Sarkozy has already coined the sound bite framing the “catastrophic” alternative: “The Iranian bomb, or the bombing of Iran.”
Sarkozy now officially joins the US thunder and lightning unleashed by the White House, the Pentagon, Republicans, Democrats and corporate media, which all take for granted the “all options are on the table” scenario as far as Iran is concerned.
That last is a nice, coherent, all-hands-are-on-deck-and-ready-to-go assessment.
It was Pepe Escobar who posted summer 2001 that someone must come deal with bin Laden, take the measure of what was coming into line, as something big was coming and soon it would be too late. For several years post 9/11, ATimes kept links to his posts from that summer, on the front page.
For a long time after 9/11, I kept the August issue of NYRoB on the kitchen table. Elizabeth Drew had a very good article on the objective of the Bush tax cuts, to kill what he could, bleed support for needed services (not exactly a new scheme). I would look at the article dated August 9, and think the unavoidable: he was fully in charge now. No escape.
Another report expands on both Sarko and the work the IAEA is doing with Iran.
The irony is that the subtle and not so subtle threats of military action against Iran may have the unintended consequence of reinforcing the very opposite of what Sarkozy and other Western leaders seek when they raise the specter of “bombing Iran”, ie, strengthening the hands of those in Iran who point at the “irrational” Westerners who can be held at bay only through deterrent bombs.
“If they take an irrational move, then Iran’s cooperation with the agency [IAEA] will be sterile,” Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, has stated. Both Larijani and Ahmadinejad have said that Iran’s nuclear file should be “normalized”, since the lingering questions about Tehran’s nuclear activities are being “cleared up” and the IAEA has full-scope monitoring of Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Various IAEA officials, as well as a number of European diplomats, have told this author that the IAEA would be able to detect any military diversion, or for that matter any uranium enrichment above a low grade, as long as the Iran-IAEA safeguard agreement remains intact.
Yet Sarkozy acts according to his own articles of belief about Iran, irrespective of the empirical counter-facts mentioned above, his ears glued to the Iran nuclear-myth makers who have their own agenda, regardless of the facts. (See Debunking Iran’s nuclear myth makers, Asia Times Online, January 25.)
The article links to further reports:
1. Full text of Iran-IAEA understanding note of modalities, Iran Students News Agency, August 28, 2007.
2. See Afrasiabi and Mojtahedzadeh, Iran’s nuclear program: A crisis of choice, not necessity, International Herald Tribune, August 12, 2005.
A couple more pieces to add… but, for now, will leave with this lovely pic:
She is “our girl”… and they are running such lethal scams.
UPDATE, 9:51 am
The email rolled in from spiegel.de, covering an exhibition in NYC of some of the damage.
THE IRAQ WOUNDED
Images from the Dark Side of War
By Marc Pitzke in New York
A moving photo exhibition in New York shows what the media doesn’t — shocking photos of seriously wounded Iraq veterans. The images and the soldiers’ quotes which accompany them say more about the war than you might want to know. [snip]
Nina Berman / Redux / laif / Jen Bekman Gallery
TY ZIEGEL AND RENEE KLINE
Seargant Ty Ziegel, 24, was wounded in December 2004 at al- Qaim, a checkpoint on the Iraq- Syria border. The truck he was riding in burst into flames after a suicide bomber blew himself up right next to it.
The heat melted the skin away from his head. He lost an eye, an arm, and three fingers on the other hand. For months he was in a coma, and after more than 50 operations, he received a plastic cap for his skull and his face was surgically reconstructed with holes for his missing ears and nose.
The photograph shows him on his wedding day with his bride Renée Kline, 21, who helped nurse him back to health. “I don’t remember saying it to Renée, but I’d have understood if she’d said, ‘Yeah, I’m out of here,'” Ty told the London Times.
Nina Berman / Redux / laif / Jen Bekman Gallery
Specialist Luis Calderon, 22, from the 4th Infantry Division, was wounded in May 2003 in Tikrit. He was in the process of tearing down a cement wall bearing a painted image of Saddam Hussein when a second wall above him collapsed. His neck was broken and he has been paralyzed from the neck down since then.
His entire family moved from Puerto Rico to Florida in order to care for him. He has not been awarded a Purple Heart — given to soldiers who are killed or wounded while fighting — because he was not injured in battle.
“From my neckline down, I cannot feel anything,” he says. “I didn’t get a Purple Heart. I feel like I deserve one. It would make me more confident that I really did something.”
Amber waves of torture 17 August 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Beirut, Chile - Bachelet, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Iraq War, WAR!.
Let us denounce Orwellian euphemism and call a spade a spade. Let those presidential candidates that go for easy almost lynchmob applause “waving the bloody flag” of “toughness” on the campaign trail be made to confront the fact that what they are saying means that their party stands for torture.
Is that what the Republicans stand for? Is that what the Democrats stand for? Is that what I am getting if I cast my vote for this candidate or that candidate?
Just a link and a snip or two from a posting at Jurist:
In a just-published article in the New Yorker magazine entitled “The Black Sites: A Rare Look Inside the CIA’s Secret Interrogation Program,” Jane Mayer documents what only those in hopeless denial can avoid knowing: the United States has tortured people in the so-called CIA “black sites”. In the course of describing the horrendous violations of international and domestic law that have been committed, the author also mentions that the International Committee of the Red Cross has submitted to the United States a report on its investigation of the CIA black sites and the interrogation techniques used there. It appears from comments in the article by those who have been permitted to see the report that it is a devastating critique that calls those techniques tantamount to torture.
I don’t know about other Americans, but for the past five years I have heard members of the Executive and Legislative of both parties, academics, and lawyers in private practice defend various interrogation programs by saying that they are “enhanced interrogation techniques” or that “we do not condone torture” or that “this has been vetted by the lawyers” or “there were only a few bad apples at low levels involved at Abu Ghraib” or “this is humane treatment consistent with military necessity” and on and on.
I have heard presidential candidates almost to a man (and woman) say that they support the “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
I hereby urge all people of good will to DEMAND of the Executive and the Legislative that one of them release to the American people the full unexpurgated unredacted un-whatevered version of the ICRC report on the CIA black sites. I further urge that the earlier reports on U.S. detention also be released.
And a snip from a post at HuffPo:
Now that a U.S. citizen has been convicted of being a “terrorist,” one can only hope that his treatment in the brig, which has been declared a “state secret,” will be declassified so that it may see the light of day in appeals court which is where this case is heading.
Psychologists, and those who have visited with Jose Padilla over the past three plus years of his incarceration say that they see profound emotional wreckage as a result of his detention. Regardless of whether Mr. Padilla’s treatment can be tweaked such that it conforms with his constitutional entitlements, as an American, there is no way in hell that anyone can justify turning an otherwise healthy 36 year old into the shell of a man.
If the treatment he received at the hands of his captors is ethical and aboveboard, then why is it classified?
Clearly, too, the time has come to put the entire infrastructure of an illegal, and ominous so-called war on terror on trial, and show that those who maim, humiliate, kill, and psychologically torture in the name of counterfeit, homogenized purity are the true terrorists.
Call America to pull out of Disneyland, Six Flags America, Jumping Dolphin and Porpoise Land, Lindsay – Britney – Paris Land and face a few truths.
But I won’t be holding my breath…
Just saw this, as part of a comment from JJB in the previous thread, so will pull it forward as it fits:
On another September 11, 1973, Gen. Pinochet–with the proven support of U.S. President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger–toppled the democratically elected government of Chilean President Salvador Allende.
Pinochet became Latin America’s most notorious dictator-the model of evil. He exported his state terrorism elsewhere in South America through Operation Condor. Pinochet wounded Chile and its people, though a few continue to sing his praise. He did succeed in bringing order with his authoritarian rule. One can still enter some homes and offices in Chile and see photos of Pinochet.
Pinochet’s knife went to the heart and soul of Chile. Many people merely want to forget what happened under Pinochet. But such forgetfulness makes it difficult to build an authentic future based on historic memory.
In December of 2004–after interviewing 35,000 survivors of human rights abuse-a Chilean commission reported that torture was a habitual practice of the dictatorship. Some of those survivors have entered a bank or other office to find themselves facing their torturer. The names of some torturers are known, but they have not all been charged. Such impunity keeps the trauma alive.
Here in the U.S. our current president and the head of the “Justice” Department take actions that indicate they feel above and beyond the law.
Chile may seem a long ways from the U.S. and Frank’s execution may seem long ago. But it is important that U.S. citizens pay attention to the matter at this historic and challenging moment in our history. Chile contains lessons for U.S. citizens, including understanding the Iraq War today. By studying Chile, we may better understand what is happening in the U.S., as our civil rights diminish and torture occurs in Guantanamo and elsewhere.
UPDATE, 2:07 pm
The WP comment system is not permitting me to comment to the thread, or not after my last comment.
I get an error screen that says I am posting too quickly. And to “slow down”.
gah. My apologies if this is happening to anyone else.
I did send in a report form to WP help desk.
still blocked from commenting… I have sent another complaint and lodged a request in the forums.
A partial repost from September 24, 2006, the week Morales, Chavez, Lula, Bachelet and Ahmadinejad spoke at the UN:
Budapest protests this past week. Protestor stands against the
water volleys from the police. [AP photo via BBC]
Full text [English version] of the Evo Morales speech at the UN: We Need Partners, Not Bosses. The last few grafs:
[F]inally president, the indigenous peoples, the poor come especially from a culture of life and not a culture of war, and this millennium will really have to be to defend live, to save humanity and if we want to save humanity we have the obligation to save the planet. The indigenous peoples live in harmony with mother earth, and not only in reciprocity, in solidarity, with human beings.
We feel greatly that the politics of hegemonist competitions are destroying the planet. I feel that all countries, social forces, international organisms are important, let us begin to debate truthfully, in order to save the planet, to save humanity.
This new millennium, the millennium that we find ourselves in needs to be a millennium of life, not of war, a millennium of people and not of empire, a millennium of justice and equality and that any economic policy needs to be orientated towards ending, of at least lessening these so-called asymmetric differences between one country and another country, those social inequalities.
We are not trying to implement policies that allow the economic humiliation or economic looting; when they cannot loot according to the norms, they use troops.
I want to ask with great respect, that it is important to withdraw troops from Iraq if we want to respect human rights, it is important to withdraw economic policies that allow the concentration of capital in only a few hands.
And for this, I feel president, that these events should be historical in order to change the world and to change economic models, interventionalist policies. Above all else we want them to be times that allow us to defend and save humanity
Danny Schechter at News Dissector has a bang up series of links and snips dated the 16th… he can be irritating (and people write to him and say so) he can be sloppy with links and sometimes not link, so a few excerpts to follow, it is jampacked…
Start with the worst:
BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AP) – The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It’s outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles.
The Reaper is loaded, but there’s no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada.
The arrival of these outsized U.S. “hunter-killer” drones, in aviation history’s first robot attack squadron, will be a watershed moment even in an Iraq that has seen too many innovative ways to hunt and kill.
That moment, one the Air Force will likely low-key, is expected “soon,” says the regional U.S. air commander. How soon? “We’re still working that,” Lt. Gen. Gary North said in an interview.
The Reaper’s first combat deployment is expected in Afghanistan, and senior Air Force officers estimate it will land in Iraq sometime between this fall and next spring. They look forward to it.
“With more Reapers, I could send manned airplanes home,” North said.
IMPEACH! WITHHOLD THE VOTE: NO ONE is ending the wars. NO ONE WILL END THE WARS…
Danny linked to and excerpted the from DAHR JAMAIL’S LATEST DISPATCH:
When President George W. Bush announced the formation of a military command for Africa (AFRICOM) this past February, it came as no surprise to the Heritage Foundation. The powerful right-wing organization designed it. The Heritage Foundation, founded in 1973 by ultra-conservatives Paul Weyrich and Joseph Coors and funded by such right-wing mainstays as the Scaife Foundation, has a strong presence in the Bush Administration. While not as influential as the older and richer American Enterprise Institute, it has a higher profile when it comes to Africa policy.
Back in October 2003, James Jay Carafano and Nile Gardner of the Heritage Foundation laid out a blueprint for how to use military power to dominate that vast continent. ”Creating an African Command,” write the two analysts in a Heritage Foundation study entitled U.S. Military Assistance for Africa: A Better Solution, “would go a long way toward turning the Bush Administration’s well aimed strategic priorities for Africa into a reality.”
While the Bush Administration says the purpose of AFRICOM will be humanitarian aid and “security cooperation,” not “war fighting,” says Ryan Henry, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.
The Heritage analysts were a tad blunter about the application of military power:
“Pre-emptive strikes are justified on grounds of self-defenseAmerica must not be afraid to employ its forces decisively when vital national interests are threatened.” Carafano and Gardner are also quite clear what those “vital interests” are: “The United States is likely to draw 25 percent of its oil from West Africa by 2015, surpassing the volume imported from the Persian Gulf.”
IMPEACH: The plan is to spin as much of the world to war as they can – what else does it look like?. ”THEY” is both parties.
WITHHOLD THE VOTE: They won’t de-fund!
DE FUND THEM!
Last from Danny, is from Matthew Rothschild at The Progressive:
It’s NOT BUSH’S PLAN – IT’S ”THEIR” PLAN:
Bush’s Manual for Containing Protest
By Matt Rothschild in the Progressive:
After a myriad of stories about people being excluded from events where the President is speaking, now we know that the White House had a policy manual on just how to do so.
Called the “Presidential Advance Manual,” this 103-page document from the Office of Presidential Advance lays out the parameters for how to handle protesters at events. ”Always be prepared for demonstrators,” says the document, which is dated October 2002 and which the ACLU released as part of a new lawsuit.
In a section entitled “Preventing Demonstrators,” the document says: “All Presidential events must be ticketed or accessed by a name list. This is the best method for preventing demonstrators. People who are obviously going to try to disrupt the event can be denied entrance at least to the VIP area between the stage and the main camera platform. … It is important to have your volunteers at a checkpoint before the Magnetometers in order to stop a demonstrator from getting into the event. Look for signs they may be carrying, and if need be, have volunteers check for folded cloth signs that demonstrators may be bringing.”
In another section, entitled “Preparing for Demonstrators,” the document makes clear that the intention is to deprive protesters of the right to be seen or heard by the President: “As always, work with the Secret Service and have them ask the local police department to designate a protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferably not in view of the event site or motorcade route.”
The document also recommends drowning out protesters or blocking their signs by using what it calls “rally squads.” It states: “These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators. The rally squad’s task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform.
If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protestors (USA!, USA!, USA!).
Think it will not be that way if Hillary goes in?, along WITH Obama – as Anna Quindlen is already calling on Hillary to do (and as Glen Ford at BAR has said since February, is the plan)
IMPEACH! DE FUND THE WARS — WITHHOLD THE VOTE!
They won’t be listening to polite pleas…
Remember all of those nasty winger judges the Vichy Donks couldn’t filibuster? Remember the civil liberties they couldn’t fight for, women’s issues and worker’s issues they ran away from? Remember the war they wouldn’t stop, wouldn’t slow down, still won’t de-fund? Remember the Gang of 14, the SEVEN Donklephants that cozied up to the ‘Thugs to prevent even the HINT of a filibuster?
The OLD Donklephants … the Dixiecrat version, used to filibuster all the time to preserve Jim Crow. Oh, and lest you think that there is much difference between the current Donklephant and the ole’ Dixiecrat, think hard about how much fight they’ve put into protecting the vote. Maybe they don’t say “colored” out loud where we can hear them, but they don’t care about black people any more, or poor people in general, than Bush does, let alone more than they did back before LBJ told them they should (as he was undermining it all sending men off to kill poor yellow people).
Anyway, that invertebrate known as the senior Senator from Illinois is upset because the
theofascist authoritarian corporatist…. ummmm … rightward-half-of-our-one-political-party is actually practicing politics and using the rules of the Senate to fight for it’s base’s priorities! SHAME ON THEM!
DE FUND THE CONGRESS: Withhold the Vote!
They will still be sitting on the US taxpayer paid for toilets as the years roll by:
DE FUND THE CONGRESS: WITHHOLD THE VOTE!
They won’t do it: WITHHOLD THE VOTE
Wanna cookie little liberal? 12 July 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Afghanistan War, Beirut, Big Box Blogs, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, The Battle for New Orleans, WAR!.
An email in my inbox from the conservative wing of the Democratic party, the DSCC.
When they are not being conservative, they are just fucking on holiday, ”servicing the constituents”. Yes, that is a euphemism for ramming them in any orifice – and asking for money:
[D]emocratic Senators Jack Reed and Carl Levin are sponsoring an amendment next week that would order President Bush to begin drawing down combat troops within 120 days, and end combat by April 30, 2008. We absolutely need you to get behind it.
And the best way to do it is to demand that Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP senators stop hiding behind fear and sloganeering to defend George Bush’s surge. That’s why I am asking you to sign on to the DSCC’s grassroots campaign to demand change in Iraq. The DSCC’s ads, combined with your support can help build the momentum we need to get our troops home.
We’ll take the thousands of names we gather and deliver them right to McConnell’s office to let him know how disgusted the American people are with GOP senators blocking change in Iraq. But we’ve got to act quickly because this bill will be on the Senate floor next week.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been giving it his all to force change in Iraq.
[now now, don’t make me scream with laughter, I might choke and die laughing over REID — Mcat]
This week marks the fifth time in 2007 alone that Sen. Reid has overseen legislation that would challenge Bush on Iraq and bring our troops home.
[what a fucking MIRAGE — Mcat]
But the reality is that with Democrat’s holding a razor thin 51-49 Senate majority, Republicans have done everything and anything to impede progress. You need 60 votes to get a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, and that is why it is so important to up the pressure on McConnell and company to support this legislation. [get snip snappy little democrats]
(emphasis was in the email)
Oh I so wanna pucker up and kiss Schumer’s big fat white ass. Don’t miss the emphasis on “combat troops” and “combat”.
to begin drawing down combat troops within 120 days, and end combat by April 30, 2008
As we move to the endless “advisor” and “trainer” status. Oh sure, in camos and still in the Abrams, on patrol. With the AF above and sorties a secret…
Have a cookie little liberal. While we are busy destroying whatever we wish, to save it from al Qaeda / insurgents / terrorists / the “other” – which takes care of just about everybody…
Remember how much the Democratic party cared about the Israeli (US) war on Lebanon, just this month, last year.
Last of all, word has always been that Reid and Mitch McConnell are friends. Which has always sounded just about perfect to me. Plu-perfect. Pity it is not past perfect. I might have that wrong, I mean passe anterieur. You know, had I voted for them, then I would have agreed to be fucked.
Something like that. I am sure you get that meaning. If not the mangled tenses shout out.
Silber has a good post from the 11th, Bloodthirsty Murderers of a Million with a bang up update… ;)
If anyone follows the link to FDL (yes that would be “laughingstocks”) what is found is more of what I call “caging dissent”, LOL more on that below, at a ‘net the butterflies’ site.
Second item: you people are laughingstocks. (Via IOZ.) I wouldn’t mind so much that you’re useful idiots, except for the fact that you make yourselves so endlessly useful, and that you’re such unbelievable idiots.
You’re GOING TO CALL THE SENATORS! On ONE occasion, for ONE DAY. And lo, the heavens themselves moved! Please, stop embarrassing yourselves.
There are some larger-scale, more ambitious ideas you might try. You can probably think of many others, and many that might be better and more effective. That is, you could if you actually gave a damn.
But you won’t, because you don’t. Within a few days, all this will be forgotten — once again.
So I repeat: when we attack Iran, and I now consider that a foregone conclusion with only the timing to be determined, DON’T SAY A SINGLE GODDAMNED WORD.
Not one, or I will personally hunt you down and punch your fucking lights out.
P.S. For the thinking-impaired, I note that I abhor violence in any form, unless it is absolutely necessary in self-defense. So I won’t punch your fucking lights out. But that will be the least that you deserve.
Oh I personally am so sorry for the PS, I really had hopes there… ;)
While I am on caging dissent, this is:
More Netting the Butterflies / Displaying Bullshite / Beg for Traffic. And whatever else, too. Which would be Delaware Daddy showing up in the thread.
Yes, I might die laughing.
[B]ut to impeach Bush and Cheney for actual constitutional crimes…well, that’s an entirely different matter.
That would be an occurrence of great moment: it would serve notice that Congress had drawn certain lines and had solemnly announced that certain actions are impermissible to government officials. That would constrain the governing class in its future behavior. Since the Democrats may control all the levers of power after the 2008 election, they themselves might be so constrained as a consequence. That would never do.
As I have analyzed in some detail, it must always be remembered that the ruling elites are not like you and me, which is to say they are utterly unlike 99.9% of the Americans they claim to represent. They say they are devoted to fulfilling the wishes of “the people,” but that is only the cover used to delude Americans into ceding them more and more power, so that the ruling elites may satisfy those special interests of greatest concern to them (and whose support makes their election possible in the first instance) and continue their own lives of immense privilege and comfort.
They will only offer faint concessions to “the people’s will” when expressions of that will become so overwhelming that the elites’ hold on power is thought to be threatened.
That last there is where we are right now. Poor people, they have a bit of power right now. And only right now. NOT in 2009 or 2010… But I suspect 60 million or so will march happily to the slaughter. Oops I surely do mean voting booth. And vote in a war maker, an imperialist. Nobody else is running (in the tippy toppy top tiers, as defined by the media).
For failure to conduct hearings preparatory to impeachment, for failure to de fund the war, for collaborating, the party should be held – you know the word:
So, barring further extraordinary events, I think Pelosi will be successful in her efforts to keep impeachment “off the table.” What a pathetic comment on the state of American politics that is: the one constitutionally provided remedy that is unquestionably required, and for which a massive amount of evidence is already in the public record, is “off the table” — while initiating yet another criminal war of aggression, perhaps even using nuclear weapons, remains “on the table.”
The moral inversion of our age is complete.
In the same vein (link thanks to Madman), from Pierre Tristam, at Candide’s Notebooks, a regimental take down of Obama, based on his recent 5,000 words, published in Foreign Affaires.
The Audacity of Fraud
How Barack Obama Is Losing My Vote
Barack Obama writes a 5,000-word manifesto on “Renewing American leadership” in the current issue of Foreign Affairs. I was expecting fresh, bold new thinking—the audacity of liberalism. What I got instead was a Republican hawk in Kennedy clothing. If this is what we are to expect from the new generation of Democratic leaders, Bush’s legacy has nothing to fear. It’s writhing with life under a new guise. Call it neo-conservatism with a human face.
Yes … all the grave robbing, plundering the Valley of the Kings, of FDR, JFK, RFK, always with a whiffy squiffy of Truman (HE dropped the bomb! We’d do it again! We swear!) from the Dems has been reeking with rot. IMO, of course. And of course, politics nearly always smells of rot at the national level. Co-mingled rot.
The tried and true two step (remember, it’s not the man, it’s the party, bonded at the hip, shoulder and at the nose):
Obama gets worse. Repeating his idea for a “phased withdrawal” from Iraq only to call it a “redeployment” in the same breath (the coy deflection from cutting and running, which is what this is and what it must be, dates back to Ronald Reagan calling the Marines’ withdrawal from Beirut in 1984 a “redeployment”), he leaves open the door for a longer stay “if the Iraqi government meets the security, political, and economic benchmarks to which it has committed” and settles on the deceptive language of a permanent stay in the form of “a minimal over-the-horizon military force in the region to protect American personnel and facilities.” Facilities? The previous line—I’m not kidding you—was this: “[W]e must make clear that we seek no permanent bases in Iraq.” It isn’t Obama’s only blatant contradiction (more of those in a moment), although what Iraqis and other Mideasterners will read in this passage is nothing new under American policy’s sun.
And here is a most delish graf from Tristam (I break it into threes):
Obama does emphasize diplomacy. He’s been reading Dennis Ross’ “Statecraft.” But Obama’s openings are severely restricted. Iran and Syria are OK to talk to. But there’s no mention of opening a dialogue with Hamas, let alone Hezbollah, the Taliban or al-Qaeda. So his international diplomatic initiatives are stuck in the very same “conventional thinking of the past, largely viewing problems as state-based,” that he so eagerly and justly criticizes Bush for.
On Israel, the best he can say is the same old rehash about Israel being “our strongest ally in the region” (a doubtful assertion anymore) and this incredibly obtuse prescription from a few decades back: “we must help the Israelis identify and strengthen those partners who are truly committed to peace, while isolating those who seek conflict and instability.” In other words, don’t talk to Hamas.
How different is that from the Bush approach? Not very. Obama’s thinking is muddy, haphazard, half-baked. And every few paragraphs — like money shots in porno movies — he throws in his bit of brawn to remind us again and again what a tough man he is: “To defeat al Qaeda, I will build a twenty-first-century military and twenty-first-century partnerships as strong as the anticommunist alliance that won the Cold War to stay on the offense everywhere from Djibouti to Kandahar.”
Yes, as PT says, “Take Cover”… Save us oh lord from your messenger from isaiah…
What cheap shots it all is. Body shots in a dive bar. But they, the hapless electorate, they belly up, for bottoms up!
Tristam’s last two grafs are damning, in the extreme (and are not excerpted above). As for Obama’s 5000 (or ws it 50,000) words. I smelled a mix of Shrum and or Sorensen in certain lines… Or their pupils. The great soar, with nothing said. The everlasting promise, or, like the Shrum line in the ’80 convention speech from the Kennedy they left alive: the dream shall nevah nevah die.
Read it yourself (closing grafs):
I believe they will also agree that it is time for a new generation to tell the next great American story. If we act with boldness and foresight, we will be able to tell our grandchildren that this was the time when we helped forge peace in the Middle East. This was the time we confronted climate change and secured the weapons that could destroy the human race. This was the time we defeated global terrorists and brought opportunity to forgotten corners of the world. And this was the time when we renewed the America that has led generations of weary travelers from all over the world to find opportunity and liberty and hope on our doorstep.
It was not all that long ago that farmers in Venezuela and Indonesia welcomed American doctors to their villages and hung pictures of JFK on their living room walls, when millions, like my father, waited every day for a letter in the mail that would grant them the privilege to come to America to study, work, live, or just be free.
We can be this America again. This is our moment to renew the trust and faith of our people — and all people — in an America that battles immediate evils, promotes an ultimate good, and leads the world once more.
Battling “immediate evils”.
PLEASE DELIVER ME FROM THE CARTOON OF IT ALL…
From Dahr Jamail, via Tom Dispatch, an email sent to a friend of Jamail’s, an email from inside Iraq…
No words can describe the real terror of what’s happening and being committed against the population in Baghdad and other cities: the poor people with no money to leave the country, the disabled old men and women, the wives and children of tens of thousands of detainees who can’t leave when their dad is getting tortured in the Democratic Prisons, senior years students who have been caught in a situation that forces them to take their finals to finish their degrees, parents of missing young men who got out and never came back, waiting patiently for someone to knock the door and say, “I am back.” There are thousands and thousands of sad stories that need to be told but nobody is there to listen.
I called my cousin in the al-Adhamiya neighborhood of Baghdad to check if they are still alive. She is in her sixties and her husband is about seventy. She burst into tears, begging me to pray to God to take their lives away soon so they don’t have to go through all this agony. She told me that, with no electricity, it is impossible to go to sleep when it is 40 degrees Celsius unless they get really tired after midnight. Her husband leaves the doors open because they are afraid that the American and Iraqi troops will bomb the doors if they don’t respond from first door knock during searching raids. Leaving the doors open is another terror story after the attack of the troops’ vicious dogs on a ten-month old baby, tearing him apart and eating him in the same neighborhood just a few days ago. The troops let the dogs attack civilians. The dogs bite them and terrify the kids with their angry red eyes in the middle of the night. So, as you can see my dear Gerri, we don’t have only one Abu Ghraib with torturing dogs, we have thousands of Abu Ghraibs all over Baghdad and other Iraqi cities.
I was speechless. I couldn’t say anything to comfort her. I felt ashamed to be alive and well. I thought I should be with them, supporting them, and give them some strength even if it costs me my life. I begged her to leave Baghdad. She told me that she can’t because of her pregnant daughter and her grandkids. They are all with them in the house without their dad. I am hearing the same story and worse every single day. We keep asking ourselves what did we do to the Americans to deserve all this cruelness, killing, and brutishness? How can the troops do this to poor, hopeless civilians? And why?
Can anybody answer my cousin why she and her poor family are going through this?? Can you Gerri? Because I sure can’t.
Shilling for butterflies, angling for traffic on the one side, the other side, being a wanna-be bad ass (no hope, third tier law school, third law firm in 5 years) jackass – oops jackass, that would be both sides…remiss of me….
I feel she has to apologize to all Democrats everywhere for her lies about slavery and starting wars. That was an insult, not a prelude to a debate. Until she does, no debate with her or her supporters about her candidacy will be possible. Indeed, I would ask her supporters if they endorse her opinion that the Democratic Party is currently the party of slavery and that the Democratic Party started World War II.
Finally, Booman, people are going to discuss her campaign on Daily Kos. What we are talking is whether Cindy herself, the candidate herself, should be given the free (to her) bandwidth to do so.
Going back to the two missions of Daily Kos as stated by Markos, the obvious answer is no, she should not be.
Re: Answer (4.00 / 4)
Well, personally I don’t really care about her insulting the Democratic Party. Her statements damage her credibility, not the party’s, so I don’t see what the problem is.
You take these hardline positions and then wonder why people are so freaking angry with Daily Kos.
(bolding is mine)
Have a cookie little liberal… and issue itty bitty baby jackboots to the wanna-be, drowning in sudsy beer, “leaders”..
UPDATE, 9:48 pm
Ooops… I had meant to put this in the main text and forgot. Probably too grisly a thought and I purposefully “forgot”.
Would you trust this man’s GUT FEELINGS? About anything?
I think we should be discussing if he has an eating disorder.
Yard Signs and Polls, Who Goes First and Other Cyclical Silliness – and Halberstam [Updates, WHUPdates and PACdates] 5 July 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Afghanistan War, Beirut, Big Box Blogs, California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Lie Down Fall Down Dems.
Political consultants and strategists, Mike Murphy for the R side (wait! wait! he comes from half way decent stock, both parents early and tenacious supporters of Dean… 8) ) and Mark Mellman for the Dem side are up in the LA Times:
Sanity on offer…
IN THE FIRST 100 days of 2007, the big field of Republican and Democratic candidates running for president collectively spent well over $50 million campaigning, made hundreds of stump speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire and endured several nationally televised debates. Too bad so much of it will prove meaningless.
Don’t get us wrong — an awful gaffe at this stage could be deadly, and there’s no question that early money is crucial. But let’s be honest. The absurdly early start of this primary season has a lot more to do with entertaining bored political elites than with persuading actual primary voters.
It is reminiscent of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle we all heard about in high school physics class. Professor Werner Heisenberg postulated that “the more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known.” Applied to the presidential race, this suggests that the more we measure how the candidates stand now, the less we may know about where things are going to end up — because the measurement itself can render the findings inaccurate.
Is the track muddy? Who runs good in mud? Is the track quick? What times did they do in trials? Who has bonded with a pet in the stables (that ws my mother’s guideline, one of them)… and so on…
I call the combined field The Derby. It’s like an overcrowded day at the races. Please, somebody crash and burn so the peanut gallery can wail!
Meanwhile, the press ignores Heisenberg’s principle — that the measurements themselves, printed in bold type on Page 1, create their own distorted results, inaccurately advantaging some while disadvantaging others. By creating a potentially illusory sense of momentum or of failure, these pseudo-measures affect the extent of media coverage, fundraising, endorsements and the willingness of volunteers to engage.
The result is a cycle. Early national polling is used to declare winners and losers. Those declarations affect the flow of money and coverage, which is then reported as winners and losers, part two, thereby driving the next polls.
And polls are part of “chatter”. As are push polls and robo calls and all the rest of it. Prolly the squeakiest little push poll is the Rec Diary List at the Dkos and Dkos mimic sites. Squeak Squeak. squeak squeak.
Brownstein too has a good piece in the LA Times… makes swift mince meat of much wailing and caterwauling about in the land…
HIS APPROVAL rating has cratered. His legislative agenda, after the collapse of immigration reform, is in ruins. So many longtime aides have departed that he may need name tags for Oval Office meetings. And yet with his decision to spare I. Lewis Libby from prison, President Bush sent his critics a clear signal that he will not concede an inch of ground that they lack the strength and determination to take from him.
Commuting Libby’s sentence fits within a flurry of recent administration decisions that directly confront the president’s opponents. Bush is defying subpoenas for documents and testimony from the House and Senate Judiciary committees. He’s drawn a line in the sand (box) against Democratic proposals to provide health insurance for millions more children in working-poor families. His vice president recently claimed to have discovered, Atlantis-like, a previously uncharted fourth branch of government with himself as the sole known resident.
Truly crazy on his very tiny island. The problem is, and Bush/Cheney know this, it does not matter. Dems are just the thumb on the [sorta kinda maybe] left hand of the blended family government.
They sell the people that they believe in them, all the while snickering. Deep down they resent the people. For breathing.
Catch Brownstein’s sharp and very accurate take on Lugar [and all the fucked hoopla over his speech and commentary]:
But in subsequent interviews, Lugar indicated that despite his rejection of Bush’s policy, he will not support legislation to change it. Instead, he said, Congress should avoid direct confrontations with the president, while trying to persuade him to reassess.
All you can do is laugh.
It has been evident all along:
The lesson of Libby is that consensus matters no more to Bush today than when he was at his apex. He still responds to power, not argument.
Watching Bush shrug off the Democratic outrage over Libby ought to show Lugar and other uneasy Republicans how much their softer words on Iraq will affect the president — unless they command his attention with a sharp slap of repudiation in the votes on the war that will soon consume Congress again.
Last is the Vanity Fair August edition publish from Halberstam, who died in an absolutely tragic car accident out here in April…. TO has picked it up. It is packed full and just keeps rolling out the information and the history.
Hard to pick, but as this week Wapo rolled out their dictation bullshit on the “presidential seminars” will go with snips that relate to that crock of over cooked nothingness:
The History Boys
By David Halberstam
August 2007 Issue
In the twilight of his presidency, George W. Bush and his inner circle have been feeding the press with historical parallels: he is Harry Truman – unpopular, besieged, yet ultimately to be vindicated – while Iraq under Saddam was Europe held by Hitler. To a serious student of the past, that’s preposterous. Writing just before his untimely death, David Halberstam asserts that Bush’s “history,” like his war, is based on wishful thinking, arrogance, and a total disdain for the facts.
We are a long way from the glory days of Mission Accomplished, when the Iraq war was over before it was over – indeed before it really began – and the president could dress up like a fighter pilot and land on an aircraft carrier, and the nation, led by a pliable media, would applaud. Now, late in this sad, terribly diminished presidency, mired in an unwinnable war of their own making, and increasingly on the defensive about events which, to their surprise, they do not control, the president and his men have turned, with some degree of desperation, to history. In their view Iraq under Saddam was like Europe dominated by Hitler, and the Democrats and critics in the media are likened to the appeasers of the 1930s.
The Iraqi people, shorn of their immensely complicated history, become either the people of Europe eager to be liberated from the Germans, or a little nation that great powerful nations ought to protect. Most recently in this history rummage sale – and perhaps most surprisingly – Bush has become Harry Truman.
Now see, this has worried me for years, that ”Truman thing” with Bush. I still say, he deeply resents that Truman belongs to the ultimate Club of One. He used the atomic bomb. Twice. Grabby little guy. Bush wants in, very badly.
I think it is a bigger desire even than turning some stretch of humanity to cooked flesh, falling from the bone. Millions of refugees, a destroyed country.. (Gen Odom, NSA under Reagan, called Iraq “a shattered country” in 2004 and urged withdrawal – then.) A bigger desire than all the fun he gets from re-rubble-ising a sad sad landscape (that would Afghanistan) or would get from smiting some big Persian land…
A little more from Halberstam:
Ironically, it is the president himself, a man notoriously careless about, indeed almost indifferent to, the intellectual underpinnings of his actions, who has come to trumpet loudest his close scrutiny of the lessons of the past. Though, before, he tended to boast about making critical decisions based on instinct and religious faith, he now talks more and more about historical mandates. Usually he does this in the broadest – and vaguest – sense: History teaches us … We know from history … History shows us. In one of his speaking appearances in March 2006, in Cleveland, I counted four references to history, and what it meant for today, as if he had had dinner the night before with Arnold Toynbee, or at the very least Barbara Tuchman, and then gone home for a few hours to read his Gibbon.
I am deeply suspicious of these presidential seminars. We have, after all, come to know George Bush fairly well by now, and many of us have come to feel – not only because of what he says, but also because of the sheer cockiness in how he says it – that he has a tendency to decide what he wants to do first, and only then leaves it to his staff to look for intellectual justification. Many of us have always sensed a deep and visceral anti-intellectual streak in the president, that there was a great chip on his shoulder, and that the burden of the fancy schools he attended – Andover and Yale – and even simply being a member of the Bush family were too much for him. It was as if he needed not only to escape but also to put down those of his peers who had been more successful. From that mind-set, I think, came his rather unattractive habit of bestowing nicknames, most of them unflattering, on the people around him, to remind them that he was in charge, that despite their greater achievements they still worked for him.
Actually I don’t think Bush frets too much over the last. We made him president, twice. Plenty of affirmation, for anyone.
And, let’s get very real, this is fine for a dog to do on his daily peripathetic perambulations… but not fine for the sum of what 99.9 of the national Democrats do… and call it opposition.
Please note the dog is muzzled, with his own leash….
UPDATED, 1:30 pm
They can count in DE and Philadelphia:
Well, I have more history with the Delaware Dem moniker, and the reasons I left it are no longer operative. Circumstances have changed on both sides of the equation, so why not return to where I began here. Indeed, in my time on Daily Kos, I have posted 11,894 comments and 559 diaries (not including those I deleted) as Delaware Dem, 73 comments and 12 diaries as Delaware Dean, and 2,700 comments and 69 diaries as Lucius Vorenus. And yes, I want my low UID back! Finally, with Yearly Kos coming up, I did not want to be introducing myself constantly as “Hey, I am Lucius Vorenus, but I used to be Delaware Dem.”
On second thought, probably undid the numlock on the ol’ keyboard.
UPDATE, 2:38 pm
Oh puh-leeeze. Just read this LA Times editorial inverted. It makes more sense. And, yeah, what a shock for the ages:
Beirut or Gaza might easily provide the spark for a disastrous new Middle East war, perhaps fought by proxies.
UPDATE, 4:24 pm
He’s still at it… still, again and again, decrying the Netroots and their image (was there something other than, back up screamers? Reid party peeps? Image you say?).
Oh yes! And impeachment. Well: Impeachment BLAHGERY BLAHG BLAHG Blah Blah Blah issues, I should say. That would be more accurate. A lot more accurate.
Honestly, can it get more ironic?
He leads off the thread as well…
Re: The New Netroots Focus: Polls and Impeachment (3.00 / 4)
And Atrios will tell us that we should not criticize the Netroots, rather instead we should show the way.
Because that is the unwritten rule of the Netroots, everyone can be criticized EXCEPT the Left Blogs themselves.
Re: The New Netroots Focus: Polls and Impeachment (none / 0)
It has gotten crazy. You are right.
“I don’t oppose all wars…what I do oppose, is a dumb war” ~ Barack Obama
Well I know better than to criticize you ;) (none / 0)
I agree that we’ve lost focus lately. I’ve personally taken an active roll in the useless horse-racing or 2008 at this time, but I try and focus on core issues and hope that my environment (blogs) pull me in that correct direction.
Sadly I get polled towards warding off attacks or correcting some who obviously never have been really involved in politics of elections, or specifically primaries.
I need to do another Healthcare diary – thanks for making me feel like a slacker.
Overall I feel like the diaries and comments are filled with more inferior voices (my appologies to those gems out there and the others who work real hard and mean well.
But it seems like the intelligent, moderating voices have all drifted away – to bigger positions in the establishment or their own projects (books etc).
UPDATE, 7:16 pm
My. Had I not trudged on to the end of the thread to the diary above, I would have missed this goutte d’or:
Re: The New Netroots Focus: Polls and Impeachment (none / 0)
Well, as you know, I’m one who has never been against the war, debacle though I knew it to be — I didn’t oppose it officially until the surge. Nevertheless, I do agree with your general point that we need to be making a comprehensive critique of the Administration on issues, and not just focusing on the electoral process.
[emphasis is mine]
Guess that is the Lugar position, sorta. And more than a few national Dems.
SCREAM with laughter. Might as well.
PUPDate, Friday 12:27 pm
Remember the pooch peeing, up post?
TIME spins a yarn… I LOVED page 2, where they say Pelosi and Reid are now playing hardball. Yeah. With wilted lettuce.
Despite the poll numbers, Emanuel claims he isn’t worried yet. A Democracy Corps poll of the top 35 vulnerable Democratic districts last month found that when voters are given actual candidates to choose from, Democrats are maintaining a comfortable lead—most of them top their Republican competitors by double digits. “When 72% of the country thinks things are heading in the wrong direction, they’re not going to feel good about anything,” Emanuel, said.
Yes let’s all listen to the Clintonite shills at Democracy Corps. Wilt the lettuce.
boy, not sure what to call this one. Bloggers as a special class? Still whining as so few bloggers were officially taken “inside”? Still want the Rappoports or Media Matters to be mum and dad? What!? No sports scholarships for Blahgging?
When it turns out they (Rappoports, MM, etc.) are not so very interested in funding an online so called progressive Blahgosphere? They will fund one or two or three…
The few slots inside are taken? Etcetera.
Right, what to say. All sorts of people toil in this nation with no insurance, inadequate insurance, $2,500 deductibles… and so on. Or are cancelled the day they submit the diagnosis with the first bills for catastrophic illness…
Here is a queation the so called A for Asshole List and B for Bullshit List bloggers should pursue:
Do not DO NOT accept another bullshit happy cancer story from the Edwardses… WITHOUT knowing how they are insured. The cost, the coverage and who is insuring them. My guess some cute prop up thru one of the foundations. Or it was part of the deal going in with UNC-Chapel Hill.
No, really, I am serious. Even with millions, an endless and now officially incurable diagnosis of cancer is daunting.
I am personally offended that they drag out the weep version (oh but they are SO STRONG) and they with their fake left of the divide political stance do not tie the story to health care in America.
AND SOMEBODY for fuck’s sake Front Page CNA, Rose deMoro. FP their analysis of the various presidential candidate “plans”.
Oh right! California Nurses (CNA) SUPPORT SINGLE PAYER.
Not on the table with the Democrats.
Blogs need to stop pushing candidates. It ain’t working (well it is if you are a suck up, which most of them are!).
Or be up front and tell Rahm, Schumer, Reid and Howard, up front, you want compensation for product endorsement.
Please: y’all are not independent NOW. Get over it.
Independence… 4 July 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Beirut, Big Box Blogs, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC.
Chris Hedges is up with a new essay. Rather a tough one too. I gather he has had it, to the proverbial “up to here”.
I want to preface that political assessment, however, with an Al-Ahram opinion piece from Joseph Massad,
[I]n the midst of all this, Orientalist fantasies of the so- called exceptionalism of the Palestinian situation are being offered by Western pundits and their Palestinian and Arab “secular”, read pro-American, counterparts. These experts seem to have forgotten the history of collaboration among the oppressed amidst tragedy and oppression, from the Judenrats and the Kapos, to Vietnam’s Thieu, Angola’s UNITA, South Africa’s Buthelezi, Mozambique’s RENAMO, Nicaragua’s Contras, and Lebanon’s South Lebanese Army under Saad Haddad and Antoine Lahd. The Palestinian situation is indeed the rule and not the exception.
The only exception that the Middle East offers to world politics is the disproportionate imperial interest that its oil has attracted, and the unprecedented international support given to its Jewish settler colony, the two being intrinsically connected. It is not the Arab world that is exceptional but American strategy in the region and the anachronistic nature of its Jewish settler-colony. The resistance of Western pundits and their Arab servants to learn this is their resistance to any analysis that aims at resisting imperial rule.
In the case of Palestine, the US support of the Palestinian Pinochet, in the tradition of US propaganda, is presented as support FOR democracy, while the Palestinian democratic government’s defence of itself against this subversion and thuggery as a coup against democracy. [snip]
It is hard to pick a passage from the Hedges, if you read the whole you will see why.
A Declaration of Independence from Israel
[U].S. foreign policy, especially under the current Bush administration, has become little more than an extension of Israeli foreign policy. The United States since 1982 has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, more than the total number of vetoes cast by all the other Security Council members. It refuses to enforce the Security Council resolutions it claims to support. These resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.
There is now volcanic anger and revulsion by Arabs at this blatant favoritism. Few in the Middle East see any distinction between Israeli and American policies, nor should they. And when the Islamic radicals speak of U.S. support of Israel as a prime reason for their hatred of the United States, we should listen. The consequences of this one-sided relationship are being played out in the disastrous war in Iraq, growing tension with Iran, and the humanitarian and political crisis in Gaza. It is being played out in Lebanon, where Hezbollah is gearing up for another war with Israel, one most Middle East analysts say is inevitable. The U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East is unraveling. And it is doing so because of this special relationship. The eruption of a regional conflict would usher in a nightmare of catastrophic proportions. …
Israel is reaping economic as well as political rewards from its lock-down apartheid state. In the “gated community” market it has begun to sell systems and techniques that allow the nation to cope with terrorism. Israel, in 2006, exported $3.4 billion in defense products—well over a billion dollars more than it received in American military aid. Israel has grown into the fourth largest arms dealer in the world. Most of this growth has come in the so-called homeland security sector.
A Palestinian carrying the body of a killed boy after Israeli mobile artillery fired shells at Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip July 6, 2006. [via E Intifada: MaanImages/Mohamed al-Zanon]
“The key products and services,” as Naomi Klein wrote in The Nation, “are hi-tech fences, unmanned drones, biometric IDs, video and audio surveillance gear, air passenger profiling and prisoner interrogation systems—precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories. And that is why the chaos in Gaza and the rest of the region doesn’t threaten the bottom line in Tel Aviv, and may actually boost it.
Israel has learned to turn endless war into a brand asset, pitching its uprooting, occupation and containment of the Palestinian people as a half-century head start in the ‘global war on terror.’ ”
They are not alone in the “brand asset” business for war.
An earlier Joseph Massad opinion piece in Al-Ahram [week of May 20, 2004]
As thousands of Iraqi civilians have already been killed, tens of thousands injured and tens of thousands more imprisoned (according to Donald Rumsfeld, the number is 44,000 Iraqis detained since the occupation started), the recent pictures of torture and sexual sadism are hardly the worst that the Americans have inflicted on the Iraqi people during the last 14 years under the pretext of liberating them from Saddam. Indeed, even in the matter of torture itself, the Abu Ghraib prison, according to Baghdad’s Red Cross (ICRC) spokesperson Nada Doumani, “is but the tip of the iceberg.”
Under Saddam’s tyrannical rule, human rights organisations continued to monitor the situation in Iraq, but since 9 April 2003, the Americans have refused to allow them to do so, as confirmed by US- imposed Iraqi minister of human rights, Dr Abdul- Baset Turki, who resigned in early April in protest. He had submitted his reports of human rights violations to Iraq’s new dictator, Paul Bremer, but to no avail.
It has been suggested that the pictures of torture were not only going to be used to record the humiliation of the prisoners and to blackmail them, but also as mementos for American and British soldiers to take home with them to show to their families and friends. In such a case, the soldiers clearly believe that their families and friends would enjoy the pictures just as much as they do, which speaks volumes about American and British racism.
Whatever the real usefulness of the pictures for the American torturers, for Iraqis and the rest of the world, the pictures will serve as mementos of America’s unyielding sadism against those who have the misfortune of living under its occupation.
The pictures prove that the content of the word “freedom” that American politicians and propagandists want to impose on the rest of the world is nothing more and nothing less than America’s violent domination, racism, torture, sexual humiliation, and the rest of it.
Mementos – and memento mori, I would say.
Well, you did not think this post would be a ‘grilled Nathan’s hot dog on a bun’, did you?
LA Times is up with a look at the number of contractors in Iraq. Privatisation of our wars is moving swiftly. From garbage hauling, latrine digging, contruction and weapon systems maintenance – to paid protection for convoys, fuel lines and personages.
Quick snip from the Fact Box:
Contractors in Iraq
There are more U.S.-paid private contractors than there are American combat troops in Iraq.
U.S. troops: 160,000
ah … on page 1 we are told:
Adding an element of potential confusion, no single agency keeps track of the number or location of contractors.
In response to demands from Congress, the U.S. Central Command began a census last year of the number of contractors working on U.S. and Iraqi bases to determine how much food, water and shelter was needed.
That census, provided to The Times under the Freedom of Information Act, shows about 130,000 contractors and subcontractors of different nationalities working at U.S. and Iraqi military bases.
However, U.S. military officials acknowledged that the census did not include other government agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department.
Page 2 tells us that USAID claims about 53,000 contractors in Iraq. Another 7k claimed by some other agency (State claims not to know how many, but of 5k at the Embassy, a bare 300 are DOS staff – gee I can add, can’t you?) and, whooops! there we are:
And!… a retired mil officer adds this juicy tidbit (which is just common sense):
“We don’t have control of all the coalition guns in Iraq. That’s dangerous for our country,” said William Nash, a retired Army general and reconstruction expert. The Pentagon “is hiring guns. You can rationalize it all you want, but that’s obscene.”
Yes we have ourselves a hot, hot money-making war. A big one. The very best kind. Tonight’s roll call on PBS News Hour was 20, I think. Several sargeants, more than one staff sargeant and the usual number of very young men. One from the Marianas.
Well. There are other things…
Democracy NOW! is repeating a Pete Seeger hour long segment from 2004… as I was reading the transcript I spied this:
[B]ut he [Seeger’s father], in those early days, linked up with the Communist movement. He and Aaron Copland and Henry Cowell and Marc Blitzstein. They had a thing they called the Composers’ Collective. After all, in Russia they had collectives this and collective that. And there, they decided, as skilled musicians, they would compose the new music for the new society. Well, their attempts were laughable. Aaron Copland put music to a poem by Alfred Hayes, same man who wrote “Joe Hill” — “Into the Streets May 1st.” But only a very expert singer could sing it, tremendous range, and only a very expert pianist could accompany it properly. Of course, no proletariat ever sang him. [snip]
Once, when I was about 20, I had come in at Newark airport, crossing the great open concourse on a sunny day, the high glass floor to ceiling wall to my left, I suddenly heard Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man peal forth.
Devoid of noxious patriotism (tho composed during war, in ’42), nationalism and no jingoism, it was a tremendous and tremendously wonderful moment.
I’d like to think it was an American moment.
UPDATE, 7:41 pm — balmy evening in San Francisco
heh diddle diddle the cat’s in the fiddle:
Geez, Armando, don’t pull your … (3.00 / 1)
…bullshit on me. You answer the question you asked of me and then attack me for the answer you put in my mouth?
My view is not that he be impeached for invoking executive privilege. My view is that he be impeached because we know he will drag this out in the courts – courts, as you are aware, that are far more conservative than in 1972-74, when they were ruling on Nixon. He (and Cheney) can’t claim executive privilege in an impeachment trial.
Re: Geez, Armando, don’t pull your … (none / 0)
Impeached because we KNOW what Bush will do, which is perfectly legal?
WTF? I think I treated you too fairly.
yummy conflab over in the Center Ring (well not quite, side diaries) at MyDD. Anyone who misses him, BTD has been popping up the odd diary over there. Breaking out of the swaddling clothes at TalkLeft, imo. Who would not want to…
OH, STOP! STOP!!
Liberal Catnip over at Mo Betta Meta is ringside at the conflab… and is catching more tart (not to say tarty) comments than I am… ;)
As a former FPer (3.00 / 1)
I can tell you that it was well understood what types of issues should merit careful consideration before writng a FP post taking a posiiton on them.
Of course there are a myriad of important issues where FPers would disagree. Those were open for debate and the outside world consequences were largely minimal.
Impeachment is not one of those issues. It is too hot and too potentially harmful for a FPer to just throw out outlandish ill thought out posts as Meteor Blades did.
He should express his opinion on THAt topic in the diaries, not on the FP.
by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 03, 2007 at 11:04:27 AM EST
Still directing traffic, Big Boy?
Is the NetRoots insured for a return engagement? Corner men should step up now. Is there a doctor in the House? (we know there are attorneys, LOL)
UPDATE, 12:12 am Thursday
lucid has a rumination on the flux in the non-aligned blogs… 8)
I’m quite happy to let the light/sound wash over me, to pretend the moments of beauty in my life flush away the moments of horror in the life of another. I can be a selfish sonofabitch.
I can also play a James Brown funk riff on the guitar until you’re numb in the teeth.
But I can never turn away.
and Madman went to hear live music on the eve of the 4th…
I will cling to the hope that maybe we can turn away from our disasterous course, buoyed by the mood at that wonderful concert. It’s a small life jacket, but with the waves of corruption and jingoism and bigotry still deeply ingrained in a boisterous, aggressive minority, enabled by a vicious Republican machine, I’ll cling to it for a while. It’s all I have on this unhappy 4th.
… and you know those wild bohemiens, they have threads!
The Real Post for Today [various and sundry updates] 28 June 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Afghanistan War, AFRICOM, Beirut, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, SCOTUS, The Battle for New Orleans, UK.
William F Buckley and Gore Vidal debate, ABC August 1968
Reminder, the Tavis Smiley Democratic debate is on this evening, PBS, 6 PT and 9 ET.
I think Michel [McQueen] Martin, Ruben Navarette and whomever else is the panel questioning. A panel of journalists of color.
Hold your nose, commentary to follow on the really tired EE and AC thang (it was tired as it rolled out). Stumbled on this at, whooops! YES a conservative site, Real Clear Politics (RCP). It’s a useful quick read for links to MSM, they catch things I would miss otherwise.
Anyway, clearly Edwards national numbers are down. Wandering around 5 – 8% in latest polls. Quickly coming to close of Q2 COH and fundraising numbers (they are raising “Coulter Cash”). Looking thin on the ground. And, as this transcript from Tweety’s Wednesday show indicates, Donny Deutch sums it up quite quickly: Edwards is not running against AC. And if he is, pretty pathetic.
In the same transcript, John Edwards is on Hardball, to make the manly point I would guess. He calls Ann – and her ilk – “crazy”.
Talk about missing the point. She’s not crazy, she is a front line operative.
Seems the John Edwards campaign IS running against AC. And losing, would be my take. Meanwhile I would also guess her book has shot up again in sales. Perhaps EE’s has as well.
The very last thing to add is that the “Wade Story” was indeed worked to death years ago. Edwards repeatedly credited the amalgam of his son’s life and death with the [sudden] dedication of his life to public service. Always good to put a gloss on the trough. Sorry to be rude, tell the story once and get on with it. They ran it and ran it and ran it. They still run it.
They are not to blame, oh no. Gore and his sister’s death and the Bushes (first set) and the death of the baby girl, all those many many years ago.
Nothing new in American heart throb suffering politics.
It fits in with the old Queen for a Day scheisse that America loves so much: She is Blind, in a Wheelchair (and still needs a cane!), she has 42,000 children all in wet nappies! Her husband is dead, but first he stepped out on her during every one of her 52,000 pregnancies (she lost some, funerals for all) and today, well today we gift her with
a Washing Machine. And a Freezer.
For being American Mother of the Year. And for her Great Suffering.
It is so fucking small town.
I wish we could get away from that, but as long as people who barely voted as adults and barely showed up for the Intelligence Com meetings in the Senate wax on and on about a dead son, we will have the ACs of the earth to shake a nasty bony blondined finger.
People are wheezing that, when cornered as to what Bible passage(s) she read in The Big House, Paris is a bit unclear.
Remember Bush? This very same thing has been made clear several times, he claims the Bible, but when cornered is unable to speak clearly and knowledgeably about it… the point was made, very notably, by Al Franken (and I am not a fan of his) in his carefully annotated (by the Harvard kids who worked with him) book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.
So, you know, like, [insert gum snap sound], who is the bigger problem? Paris or Bush?
No prize for the right answer.
Yes our discourse is ugly, but our governing is even uglier. All sides.
Stories about celebrities and their petty offenses are safe distractions for a people with diminishing hopes. In a world made cruel by their own selected leadership, Paris is just “what’s on.”
Bill Quigly has a piece up at Counterpunch, 33 hard punches look at how to destroy a great and amazing American city. New Orleans. The one that Obama forget to mention in his speech to the UCC congregation. And he forgot the Gulf Coast as well. And Katrina itself. Think all the sins of omission and commission in public speech lie with the ACs of the earth?
Here are a few to show that every punch is packed:
Step Thirteen. When you finally have to reopen the city, make sure to reopen the African-American sections last. This will aggravate racial tensions in the city and create conflicts between those who are able to make it home and those who are not.
Step Fourteen. When the big money is given out, make sure it is all directed to homeowners and not to renters. This is particularly helpful in a town like New Orleans that was majority African-American and majority renter. Then, after you have excluded renters, mess the program for the homeowners up so that they must wait for years to get money to fix their homes.
Step Fifteen. Close down all the public schools for months. This will prevent families in the public school system, overwhelmingly African-Americans, from coming home.
Step Sixteen. Fire all the public school teachers, teacher aides, cafeteria workers and bus drivers and de-certify the teachers union–the largest in the state. This will primarily hurt middle class African Americans and make them look for jobs elsewhere.
Step Seventeen. Even better, take this opportunity to flip the public school system into a charter system and push foundations and the government to extra money to the new charter schools. Give the schools with the best test scores away first. Then give the least flooded schools away next. Turn 70% of schools into charters so that the kids with good test scores or solid parental involvement will go to the charters. That way the kids with average scores, or learning disabilities, or single parent families who are still displaced are kept segregated away from the “good” kids. You will have to set up a few schools for those other kids, but make sure those schools do not get any extra money, do not have libraries, nor doors on the toilets, nor enough teachers. In fact, because of this, you better make certain there are more security guards than teachers.
Step Eighteen. Let the market do what it does best. When rent goes up 70%, say there is nothing we can do about it. This will have two great results. It will keep many former residents away from the city and it will make landlords happy. If wages go up, immediately import more outside workers and wages will settle down.
Step Nineteen. Make sure all the predominately white suburbs surrounding the African-American city make it very difficult for the people displaced from the city to return to the metro area.
Have one suburb refuse to allow any new subsidized housing at all.
Have the Sheriff of another threaten to stop and investigate anyone wearing dreadlocks.
Throw in a little humor and have one nearly all-white suburb pass a law which makes it illegal for homeowners to rent to people other than their blood relatives!
The courts may strike these down, but it will take time and the message will be clear–do not think about returning to the suburbs.
Step Twenty. Reduce public transportation by more than 80%. The people without cars will understand the message.
I will update as things other than the metal garbage can lid hit me on the head and look interesting.
Once again, still here. Sorry to dis-appoint….
UPDATE, 8:53 pm
Yowser Bowser… When Rahm launched this excursion a few days ago, wilfred dropped an email that he was watching C-Span and Rahm was working hard “to be butch”. But would fail.
What a hoot! Oh yeah they are SO GONNA IMPEACH.
House Narrowly Defeats Measure to Defund Vice President’s Office
The House of Representatives just narrowly defeated an amendment to deny funds to operate Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. Cheney had insisted that his office is exempt from Executive Department oversight by arguing that he is not part of that department. Rep. Rahm Emanuel proposed the amendment as a counter to that incredible claim.
The measure was defeated 209-217, with most Republicans and 24 Democrats siding with Cheney. GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas and Walter Jones of North Carolina voted in favor of defunding Cheney’s office. [snip]
Here is the link AGAIN (it is in the body of the text) to the Roll Call. Do check who voted iwth the R.
Some new, some old. Something borrowed, something blue.
They always get enough to vote with the R, in this instance 24 of the Dems did.
The attempt to kill funds for Cheney’s vice presidential office and the government-owned mansion he lives in came on the same day Bush said he would not provide documents being subpoenaed by Democrats in Congress related to the firings of federal prosecutors.
[Thanks to Madman for the link and wilfred for the quote!]
UPDATE, 3:32 am Friday…
Wonder what other dicey little impasses these two will pair up for in the future…
WASHINGTON — Virginia’s senators helped deliver what is likely a death blow Thursday to a proposed overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.
Republican Sen. John W. Warner, who for weeks had declined to comment on the measure, joined most of his Senate colleagues in voting to block a bill that was sought by President Bush.
“However, the immigration issue remains one of the most significant matters of concern to our citizens, and I feel strongly that we have a duty to address it in the future.”
While most Democrats voted to advance the bill, freshman Democratic Sen. Jim Webb joined Warner in voting to block it.
Webb, who campaigned last fall on a platform of greater economic fairness for American workers, expressed concern that the bill would legalize too many immigrants who would compete for American jobs and drive down wages.
UPDATE, 7:40 am Friday
There was so much news yesterday, that for now will post reports and blogger articles on all the various rulings and issues.
Still on the Immigration bill, this from Xicano Power (Para Justicia Y Libertad) on the “Green Card Draft“:
While the DREAM Act may facilitate access to college for a small percentage of these undocumented students, in many cases other factors will militate against the college option. This is where the military comes in, tucked away in the current immigration bill is a provision that will help boost military recruiting.
A little-noticed provision in the proposed immigration bill would grant instant legal status and ultimately full citizenship to illegal immigrants if they enlist in the US military, an idea the Pentagon and military analysts say would boost the Pentagon’s flagging efforts to find and recruit qualified soldiers.
The reality is that military recruitment is down significantly and there are reports that the Pentagon is wanting to impose a “limited military draft” in order to maintain “its present force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan” according to The First Post.
And never forget with whom you are dealing…
With few prospects of gaining US citizenship through the usual channels, and with little hope of employment, decent housing and education, risking ones life for a glimmer of a chance for a better future clearly holds some attraction. But it does comes with a price. The sad reality, the promises made by the Government frequently fail to materialize. Just ask Yaderlin Jiminez, wife of missing servicemen Alex Jimenez, who is now facing deportation. One of the greatest challenges for many immigrants is the experience of immigration itself, but to the Bush War Machine, this is not a concern to them. For them, all they see is cannon fodder for their war effort [snip]
The post from XP is loaded with links and information…
Other than that, I am laughing at all the sad, so sad faces in congress. Republicans will craft a wedge between themselves and Mr 26% and Dems have immigracion to run on in ’08.
Promises promises… 8)
Win WIn. Well, for the white guys in the congress. Which is just about everybody.
UPDATE, 8:37 am
awww. Well, no shock, conservatives vote together…. And “fairness” as in Fairness Doctrine, such a decent notion.
House votes to ban FCC on ‘fairness’
By Alexander Bolton
June 29, 2007
The House voted overwhelmingly yesterday to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from using taxpayer dollars to impose the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters who feature conservative radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
By a vote of 309-115, lawmakers amended the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill to bar the FCC from requiring broadcasters to balance conservative content with liberal programming such as Air America. ….
And listen again for the ringing tones and the cry for freedom that is used to clamp (or keep) a nasty lid on American life…
In 1985 the FCC discarded the policy after deciding that it restricted journalistic freedom and “actually inhibit[ed] the presentation of controversial issues of public importance to the detriment of the public and in degradation of the editorial prerogative of broadcast journalists,” according to a Congressional Research Service report.
Yesterday, the House firmly rejected the prospect of requiring balanced views on talk radio.
Before the passage of the amendment, which he sponsored, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), a former full-time radio host, forecast a big majority and took a shot at the Senate, saying:
“This House will say what some in the other body are not saying, that we believe in freedom on the airwaves.
We reject the doctrines of the past that would have this federal government manage political speech on the public airwaves.”
Tell me again about the hard right drying up and blowing away? The DLC, partner to the right, drying up and blowing away?
Will the Edwardses craft a message to raise money? Or is it too damned tough to explain the Fairness Doctrine?
Keep bleating about those Two – simple, reduced to fiction – Americas [didja notice how they all loved Black People last night? What a bizarre ‘dipshits on parade’ show that was!].
Pabulum in, soft baby shit out.
Well I am off to the kitchen, for some coffee that will etch the spoon and some amaretti biscotti. No pabulum… 8)
UPDATE, 10:08 am
This starts out as a fairly reasonable meander (on Don’t Weep for BvBoEd)… but then Juan Williams hits the fork in the road:
In their rulings ending court mandates for school integration, the judges, too, spoke of the futility of using schoolchildren to address social ills caused by adults holding fast to patterns of residential segregation by both class and race.
The focus of efforts to improve elementary and secondary schools shifted to magnet schools, to allowing parents the choice to move their children out of failing schools and, most recently, to vouchers and charter schools. The federal No Child Left Behind plan has many critics, but there’s no denying that it is an effective tool for forcing teachers’ unions and school administrators to take responsibility for educating poor and minority students.
His lips are getting whiter, doing a sales job for the destruction / privatisation of public school k – 12 education… and then:
Dealing with racism and the bitter fruit of slavery and “separate but equal” legal segregation was at the heart of the court’s brave decision 53 years ago. With Brown officially relegated to the past, the challenge for brave leaders now is to deliver on the promise of a good education for every child.
Won’t be happening. Can anyone be said to believe in the dream of separate but equal? I really don’t see what else Juan is arguing for…
Won’t be happening…
UPDATE, 1:42 pm Friday
Across the world but within our reach…
Mirvat, my sister, sent me this: “I just received a phone call from Baddaoui [refugee camp]. It seems a half an hour ago (around 3.00 am Lebanon time), displaced population from Nahr El-Bared (and staying at Baddaoui) went on a demonstration heading from Baddaoui to El-Bared to protest their current conditions. The Lebanese Army shot them like birds at a distance of 10-15 km away from Al-Bared. First information said aoround 20 wounded and 7 dead.”
Oh but! Look over there at the big bad bomb car! And another!
And again from Angry Arab (check the link, I am just saying, they let us in on it all, one reason I listen to his wretched horrible speeches, there is always something)
“We believe the ultimate success of Afghans and Iraqis will inspire others who want to live in freedom, as well.”
Oh, yeah genius. All Arabs and Muslims are jealous of the car bombs, bombing of civilians from the air, looting, corruption, foreign occupation, religious fanaticism, sectarian warfare, shooting at civilians at checkpoints, 4 million refugees, and other aspects of “liberation” in those countries. (As-Safir used this headline: “Bush promises the Syrians and Iranians a fate similar to that of Iraqis and Afghans!”)
We are insane. War and death is freedom. Liberation is a refugee camp for decades, under the UN mandate. Segregation is freedom. A black mouth whose mother cleaned floors on the Hill will help you sell equal protection is segregation. Nuclear blast winger radio and wingers forever cable with no balance is freedom. Women dying, so the Dobsons and Ratz-zingers of the earth can glory in their power, is freedom. A wall that stretches, or is sold merely as illusion, one or the other, across the border with Mexico is “security” against The Age of Terror. But we wage the Age of Terror…
We think we can wall off a contiguous land mass?
Last night Hillary promised, with a gleam in her eye and a wrench of her facial muscles, to bomb the Sudanese pilots out of the air to show we mean business. She got applause but thank someone somewhere for something she also was boo’d [if I heard right, at all]
A partial list…
Hang it up America. If the “experiment” ever was one, the petri dish is utterly utterly corrupt.
UPDATE, 2:51 pm
NYT is up with the transcript from the PBS debate of last night at Howard University:
SEN. CLINTON: There are three things we have to do immediately. Move the peacekeepers that finally the United Nations and the African Union have agreed to into Sudan as soon as possible. In order for them to be effective, there has to be airlift and logistical support, and that can only come either unilaterally from the United States or from NATO. I prefer NATO. And finally, we should have a no-fly zone over Sudan because the Sudanese governments bomb the villages before and after the Janjawid come. And we should make it very clear to the government in Khartoum we’re putting up a no-fly zone; if they fly into it, we will shoot down their planes. Is the only way to get their attention. (Applause.)
The camera went to a section going wild for her martial arts line. But from the other side of the auditorium I heard boos.
Her big war/fp moment. If called I will serve, if there is a chance to bomb I shall. Why not just sell it as a ringtone? Seems to be the biggest thing in America The Good.
Skip the beach reading for the summer… it will be bombs forever. And ringtones.
The cover of the UK Independent, July 21, 2006:
And the old line, who profits. It was just reported that Israel has overtaken the UK as a global arms dealer, in part due to the increase in business with the US, an increase of more than 4 fold in 7 years.
*** UPDATED, 1:46 am Monday ***
This was just emailed to me, by someone who returned to the Choice Joyce Dkos diary and read the recent comments in the Dr Harrison / Shanikka / Choice Joyce / megeara exchange:
OH Yeah (0 / 0)
I’m a sex hater. That’s rich. I’ll be sure to let my lovers know, as soon as I get done telling my husband.
(I’m poly, something you’d have known had you bothered to check me out in advance.)
This conversation is really a joke. The least you could do is bother to actually research my commenting history here and elsewhere before commenting.
But NOOOO. You have had so little exposure in life to women not in your demographic that you can’t do anything but come up with trite labels.
God speed to you. You prove the very points I was trying to make to start – you don’t listen or respect women’s legitimate differing views, based on arrogance and no more. Which is fine, but your view is primarily responsible for the backwards movement on abortion dialogue in this country since Roe. So I do hope you enjoy the ultimate outcome of what it will mean to not accept that not every woman is not white, not every woman is not upper middle class, and therefore not every woman believes that it’s all about me. We weren’t all raised this way, and our cultures don’t all feel this way. Most black women in this country, myself included, at the top of the list. Despite disproportaitonately accessing the right to abortion, we are honest. We don’t make excuses. And yes, the bulk of us really don’t like abortion and sure wish we could focus on something else actually securing women’s reproductive freedom – like birth control access, and assistance to women who want to give birth. And yes, since most of us were raised right, we also have a sense of right and wrong and don’t make excuses if we run around fucking and get pregnant. Nor do we claim that having a baby is something that’s going to destroy our lives, such that we’ll fall apart if we can’t get an abortion whenever we want it. It’s a necessary-evil perspective with personal responsibility perspective, one that the majority of women in America share.
But it’s all because we hate sex. That’s definitely it.
My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire
[ Parent |
In case that screech of screed [charming, wasn’t it?] was too dense to penetrate (and I really recommend the full exchange between Shanikka, Dr William Harrison, Choice Joyce, and a commenter “megeara”) this is the salient line:
I’m a sex hater. That’s rich. I’ll be sure to let my lovers know, as soon as I get done telling my husband.
(I’m poly, something you’d have known had you bothered to check me out in advance.)
This conversation is really a joke. The least you could do is bother to actually research my commenting history here and elsewhere before commenting.
…here it is on a triscuit for those who needed so desperately to be reassured:
I don’t lie. I don’t make things up and I have a better than average memory. I am not likely to forget such a detail, uninvited, of a person’s sex life. Especially repeated over and over ad nauseum.
And no, I don’t care where she puts her plumbing, but I do note things when she
bitches so fucking much about abortion. And bitches so fucking much about white women.
Now, to those who needed to know:
trot off and suck eggs.
Blood Storm: Re-making Babel 30 May 2007Posted by marisacat in Beirut, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.
[F]atah al-Islam is comprised of Sunni radicals who were recruited from the other Gulf States to counterbalance Hezbollah. Now, it appears, they have outlived their usefulness and the Lebanese warlords have decided to eliminate them.
According to independent journalist Franklin Lamb, who is reporting from the battered Bedawi refugee camp, the charges against the group are purely fabricated. “There was no bank robbery” and “no heads were cut off”. The allegations in the western press were merely a pretext for restarting the fighting. The siege of Nahr al-Bared is probably just Phase 2 of Israel’s 34 Day War— a conflict in which “Israel’s air force, armed with U.S.-manufactured and -fueled F-16s, went on a rampage with more than 14 combat missions every single hour of the war, destroying, among other things, 73 bridges, 400 miles of roads, 25 gas stations, 900 commercial structures, two hospitals, 350 schools and 15,000 Lebanese homes.” (Dahr Jamail)
The US-Israeli goals in Lebanon have never really changed. Israel wants a reliable client to its North and access to Lebanon’s water supplies. They also want to crush their main enemy, Hezbollah, the Shiite resistance organization which has routed the IDF twice in the last 15 years.
Bush, on the other hand, is trying to destabilize the entire region using the madcap neocon strategy of “creative destruction”. He thinks that if he can erase the traditional borders and create a fragmented Middle East, the transnational corporations will be able to control the region’s vast resources.
Washington’s allies in Beirut like the idea, too. Walid Jumblat, Sa’ad Hariri and Prime Minister Fuad Siniora”all believe that the outbreak of violence will only strengthen them politically.
According to the Lebanese newspaper Al-Diyar:
“NATO has decided to join the Lebanese territories to North-African & African coast military region, to establish Military airbases”. … .
“American-German-Turkish military delegation toured and surveyed Akkar region, reported to the NATO headquarter in Brussels, mentioning that the military bases will contribute to the development and the economic recovery in the region, advising the government to focus on the financial aspect and positive reflection on the population of the region, giving the bases a name “Lebanese Army and Security training centre”.
So, it looks like northern Lebanon has been chosen as the site for further NATO expansion in the Middle East. That means that NATO-planners must have agreed on a credible justification for evacuating the people who presently occupy the land. That’s where Fatah al Islam comes in.
The hobgoblin of terrorism always provides the perfect excuse for state sanctioned violence—in this case the group is being used to conceal a massive ethnic cleansing operation.
Somewhere in the middle of the article Whitney includes these lines:
“If you want to reconstruct a country, you need to eliminate its people and start anew right?
Like restoring the virginity to the land so you can build better and stronger fortresses. A brand new Iraq with a brand new population. A total Babel makeover.
You know, like the ones you see on these American TV reality shows. Revamped, relooked, redone…beyond recognition”.
(Layla Anwar, “Aliens in Babel” An Arab Woman’s Blues)
Counterpunch has the Franklin Lamb article mentioned in the Whitney piece above, as well… he is unsure the camp will be fully destroyed, but really, does it matter:
[W]ho will not benefit from the building boom will be the 40,000+ Palestinians from Nahr al-Bared which is literally next door to the anticipated project These refugees, who were driven from their homes a in Palestine in 1948 and 1967, from Telezatter by the Phalanges in 1975, and others who came as a result of Israeli attacks on Lebanon in 1978, 1982, 1993, 1996, and 2006, will gain no work from Kleiaat.
The reason is that the 70 top trades and professions in Lebanon are denied to the Palestinians under Lebanese law.
Even if the 20,000 Palestinians displaced by the current conflict with Fatah al-Islam are allowed to return, which I expect will be the case, and even if Palestinian fears that the Camps will be demolished are unrealized, as I believe, they will remain destitute, according to UNWRA who considers 10,000 of them ‘special hardship cases”.
As reported by the NATO headquarters in Brussels, as well as by residents in Bibnin Akkar on May 28, 2007, an American-German-Turkish military delegation toured and surveyed Akkar region. US Embassy ‘staff’ have reportedly visited Kleiaat airport earlier this year to look over the site. David Welch also had a quick look at the site during his recent visit.
A Lebanese journalist who opposes the base commented on May 28, 2007,
“The Bush administration has been warning Lebanon about the presence of Al Qaeda teams in northern Lebanon. And the base is needed to deal with this threat. Low and behold, a new “terrorist group” called Fatah al-Islam appears near Kleiaat at al-Bared camp“.
“Bleak as hell” 22 May 2007Posted by marisacat in Beirut, DC Politics.
Lebanese soldiers fire shots during clashes with militants of Fatah al-Islam group in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, May 20, 2007. Lebanese troops battled al Qaeda-linked militants based in a Palestinian refugee camp on Sunday and 38 people were killed in Lebanon’s bloodiest internal fighting since the 1975-90 civil war.
Dennis Perrin has a remarkable, and timely, post up:
This is the Age of Extermination.
We’ve seen similar ages before, with predictably horrific results. But the present age is wider, deeper, deadlier, and will go on for some time. Perhaps for the rest of time. Hard to say in these early stages. But the worst has yet to arrive, and when it does, something even worse will inevitably follow.
I knew a young Persian woman many years ago who said she could slow bombs with her mind. I thought she was yanking my chain, looking to see how much fantasy I was willing to swallow. But she insisted that she was quite serious. She told me that one had to look beyond the crude physicality of the bomb or missile, and focus on the current it created before exploding.
Of coure, other things are stopped, in different ways:
Lebanese army personnel carriers block the road to Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon May 20, 2007. Lebanon’s army battled al Qaeda-linked militants who threatened to open “gates of fire” after clashes which killed 21 people, 13 of them soldiers, on Sunday. REUTERS/STR
What about a nuclear weapon? I asked. Even if you slow it, an explosion is still inevitable, and there’s no chance of crawling out from under that.
She laughed. “You walk right into the blast and embrace the collision of molecules. Because when those bombs are unleashed, there’ll be nothing else to do except be one with extermination.”
“That’s bleak as hell.”
“Not really. All it will mean is that we’ve decided to move past this world. We won’t kill ourselves accidentally. When we push the final buttons, it will be intentional, conscious. It will be the end of fear and hatred.”
Amy is up with her transcript from today, on lebanon:
AMY GOODMAN: Can you describe what you see right now, Nicholas?
NICHOLAS BLANFORD: I am on the southern edge of the camp. We were trying to follow a UN humanitarian [inaudible] into the camp. There is a ceasefire in place, but it’s extremely shaky. So we were just driving through the entrance of the camp, and there was some machine-gun fire, and it was coming from behind us near an army position. And we’re not quite sure what’s going on, but there’s a possibility that some of the militants slipped out of the camp and were working their way around through the first army checkpoint. So the scene is quite chaotic at the moment. There are a lot of soldiers swarming around, looking through — there is very thick vegetation between us and the sea, which is about 300 or 400 yards away. And that vegetation of bamboo plantations, banana groves, and so on, goes all the way out to the camp and provides good cover if any of the militants want to sneak out of the fight with soldiers.
AMY GOODMAN: What sense do you have of the level of casualties?
NICHOLAS BLANFORD: Well, we’ve just been talking to — because there is a ceasefire, there are some cars coming out of the camp at the moment. These are individual cars crammed full of people. They’re waving white flags out of the window. We’ve just been talking to some of them. They say the situation in the camp is extremely [inaudible]. There are many dead under the rubble of bombed-out buildings. They’re all extremely angry and upset with Fatah al-Islam. They say that they’re not Palestinians, that they’re foreigners, and they have nothing to do with them. They say that Fatah al-Islam have been shooting at vehicles trying to leave. And there is a demonstration in the camp now. They’re taking advantage of the ceasefire to come out in the streets — over 300 people, one woman told us — to basically demand the Fatah al-Islam to leave, because the Palestinian population in the camp is suffering.
AMY GOODMAN: Are people being allowed out, Nicholas?
NICHOLAS BLANFORD: They’re being allowed out now, because I think, really, they’re just taking advantage of the ceasefire, but it’s fairly chaotic. And I’ve been here about half an hour on the edge of the camp, and there’s maybe ten, twelve cars only have come out, each car full of people, so maybe fifty people altogether. But you’re talking about a camp which has a population of around 40,000, crammed into a tiny, small area. And most of them, of course, aren’t able to get out at the moment.
AMY GOODMAN: Is aid getting in?
NICHOLAS BLANFORD: I’m sorry, say again?
AMY GOODMAN: Is aid getting into the camp?
NICHOLAS BLANFORD: Well, we watched the UN aid convoy head into the camp. We weren’t allowed to follow them any further. So they’re one of the few that have managed to reach the camp safely. There were four trucks filled with medical supplies and food, and there was a water tank, as well, and also a large generator, because the camp has been cut off. There’s been no electricity there since Sunday, when the fighting broke out. People are telling us they’ve run out of food and they’ve run out of water, and they’re hiding in the rubble of their bombed-out houses, praying just for any opportunity to get out.
And this, same transcript:
AMY GOODMAN: Do you believe they are tied to Syria?
NICHOLAS BLANFORD: Well, this is a group with a very murky background, and it really depends on who you talk to in Lebanon, as to what origins they will say for the group.
Essentially, the Lebanese government and the anti-Syrian politicians in Lebanon believe that Fatah al-Islam, yes, is an Islamist organization, yes, it has links to Osama bin Laden and follows his ideology, but it is, in fact, placed in Lebanon by a Syrian military intelligence as a means of causing instability in the country.
Then there are others who say, well, the anti-Syrian politicians in Lebanon blame Syria for everything, and there’s no evidence that these guys are in fact being manipulated by the Syrians. So the jury is out, and it really depends on whom you talk to here, as to the different views that you’ll hear about these people.
AMY GOODMAN: Nicholas Blanford, I want to thank for being with us, correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor with a UN aid convoy just outside of the Nahr el-Bared camp. [snip]
Just because I was there…
This transcript is also just up at Amy, on the “secret” trade deal, interview with Rick MacArthur, publisher of Harper’s…
AMY GOODMAN: How did the Democrats get away with negotiating this in secret the way they have? And how much of this have we seen at this point?
RICK MacARTHUR: Well, this is the legacy of the Clinton administration, that the Clintons persuaded enough members of the Democratic Party that labor unions were finished. And they were, I think, largely right. Labor unions were finished as an important source of votes and power, or that they could be taken for granted. They were going to vote for the Democrats anyway, because they had no choice, and the place to raise money and to expand influence with the party was in corporate America. And Clinton says to these people, through Terry McAuliffe and all his friends, Gene Sperling
[who just wrote a huge slobbery kiss for Rangel in Bloomberg, gagworthy it ws — MCat],
the corporate Democrats who came out of the Democratic Leadership Council, “Look, you can’t argue with results. I got elected president twice, and we almost had fundraising parity with the Republicans in the ’90s.” Now —
AMY GOODMAN: And so, what power do the pressure groups, like unions, like environmental groups, have right now? We have thirty seconds.
RICK MacARTHUR: Well, they have to say, we’re not going to play along with this anymore. We’re not going to act as a subsidiary of the Democratic Party. And they’ve got to put pressure on the newly elected members of Congress — the Sherrod Browns from Ohio, the Jim McGoverns from Massachusetts — he’s not new, but Sherrod Brown in the Senate is a better example. Don’t give in to these fake symbolic gestures toward labor rights. They’re just window dressing. They’re just fig leaves to cover up what the real agenda is, which is to, again, give corporations more choices of cheap labor countries to operate in, which kill unions in the United States, because you can’t organize a union in this country anymore. You can’t do it, because they’ll shut your plant down, or they’ll threaten to shut your plant down.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to have to leave it there. Rick MacArthur, thank you very much, publisher of Harper’s Magazine, author of the book, The Selling of Free Trade: NAFTA, Washington, and the Subversion of American Democracy.