Have you heard?

One of Israel’s most ardent enemies, Syria, says it wants peace with the Jewish state.  In fact, according to this particular Syrian diplomat, Israel has the chance to have peace with all of the Arab world, not just Israel’s contiguous neighbors. The latter part most likely is bluster on the part of this diplomat; he can’t possibly equate his one country with all of the Arab world, except that he’s most likely egomaniacal, but this is what he says:

Syria is interested in securing a peace agreement with Israel that would see a normalization of ties and end to the longstanding state of war between the two countries, Damascus’ envoy to the U.S. has said.

“The negotiations are a historic opportunity for Israel to make peace, not just with Syria and Lebanon, but with the whole Arab world,” Ambassador Imad Moustapha said, according to an interview broadcast on Army Radio on Monday.


In response to the statements, Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer called on Israel to complete negotiations with Syria while the current Knesset is still in office.

“The government of Israel has an obligation not to miss this chance for peace with Israel, and to present a full peace agreement to the public,” Oppenheimer told Army Radio.

This is pretty significant, because Israel has always said it wanted recognition by its neighbors of its right to exist, which it seems the Syrian is saying is on the table.  But because this is such a desirable result it almost certainly means  there will be a casus belli for Israel to attack the border with Syria and exacerbate tensions so that peace won’t be possible, because peace is not in the long term interests of Israel, territory and natural resources are.   Let’s see how long before such an attack takes place.

Another lie debunked

Remember the July 7, 2005 London city bombings where fifty-six people lost their lives?  It inevitably came down to blame going to Al-Qaeda, although alot of what happened that day was clouded in confusion and open to a lot of speculation.  The actions of the UK government didn’t help matters because they refused to hold any type of inquiry that would answer questions being asked by all in British society, citing how security concerns would be undermined by such efforts!(?)   A great deal was made of the fact that the severity of the blasts, both in damage to property as well as loss of human life, was not characteristic of the Irish Republican Army, an organization which has been at odds with the British government for years, and could only be the work of Al-Qaeda.  By default, the blame has stuck for the last three years.  Now, comes word from the UK, that al-Qaeda is NOT the biggest threat of all the terrorist groups on the British horizon, but rather…..surprise…….the IRA!

Dissident republicans from Northern Ireland are engaged in suspicious activity more than any other radical group in the UK including Islamic extremists, according to security sources.

Statistics from the Home Office of the UK reveal dismal figures regarding arrests and convictions of people for terrorism. More than half of all arrests made for terrorism related offenses were bogus and the people were released without further charges, while the conviction rate for terrorist activity  stands at a paltry 18%.  However, since that fateful day in July,2005, two anti-terrorism laws were inflicted upon UK society which arguably led to the diminished  rights of British citizens and the increased powers of the State which claims to protect them.  Al-Qaeda has served as a useful tool for governments who while claiming to fight it, even when it poses no threat, are also fighting its own citizens.

Quote for the day

“The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and
only legitimate object of good government.”
Thomas Jefferson

The Bush Administration takes its marching orders

Not long after the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates said a war with Iran would be disastrous on a number of levels, with his Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen adding he too wasn’t interested in fighting Iran, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on the Administration to tighten sanctions against Iran and keep all military options on the table.

The Bush Administration has already passed legislation enacting sanctions against Iran, and Gates in the speech linked to above already said all options should be kept on the table, so what is the significance of Barak’s comments to the Israeli media?   The Israelis are insisting on the logistical use of American military bases in Iraq to strike the Iranians.  If they are not able to convince the Americans to hit Iran, then the next best thing would be to use American materiel to do the job, and as we’ve already noted some forward American bases are five minutes from Iranian nuclear targets.

However, what is more likely is this talk coming from Israel is meant to sabotage any attempts at rapprochement currently being made by Iran to America.  The Iranian president has gone on record with American media saying they, the Iranians, want good relations with the US and will do everything they can to foster such a cordial atmosphere if the US stops being confrontational.  He also repeated his denial that Iran is building nuclear weapons.  Such talk coming out of Tehran has to be somewhat disconcerting to Israel which has built its entire existence on threats of its demise due to hostile neighbors.  Even when there were none able to be a suitable threat, Israel made them up, as they are doing presently with Iran.

No Comment

America, Afghanistan and the Taliban

We were all told how the US had to rid the world of al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, the Taliban and save the Afghans from the evil scourge of Islamic fundamentalism.  A lot of people bought into that and/or signed up for it.  Even Laura Bush signed on with her own rhetoric about the need to help the women of Afghanistan overthrow their shackles of oppression represented by the burkha, the Taliban and Islam.  Rarely are acts of imperialism done in the name of the people who live in the occupied country, but  rather in the interests of the occupier.  Therefore, America isn’t really concerned about OBL, the Taliban or Afghans themselves and this news item underscores that point:

Under the far harsher regime of Afghanistan, death for apostasy is still on the statute book, despite the country’s American-backed “liberation” from the tyranny of the Taliban. The Western world realised this when Abdul Rahman, an Afghan who had lived in Germany, was sentenced to die after police found him with a Bible. After pressure from Western governments, he was allowed to go to Italy. What especially startled Westerners was the fact that Afghanistan’s parliament, a product of the democracy for which NATO soldiers are dying, tried to bar Mr Rahman’s exit, and that street protests called for his execution.

One can only wonder what other left overs from the Taliban are being used by the occupiers to oppress the citizens of Afghanistan.

Guess what some are saying is the greatest threat America has ever faced?

And it ain’t al-Qaeda, jihadists, or surprisingly my choice, the press. It’s Republicans! I’m not so sure I wholeheartedly support this notion because there have been a few Republicans who’ve called a spade a spade and denounced what’s going on in the American body politic, but there is a fringe, mentioned in the article whose mention I would like to underscore in the excerpt below.

The neoconned Republican Party is the greatest threat America has ever faced. Let me tell you why.

Republicans think the United States is the salt of the earth and that American hegemony over the rest of the world is not only justified by our great virtue but necessary to our safety. People this full of hubris are incapable of judgment. People incapable of judgment should never be given power.

Republicans have no sympathy for anyone but their own kind. How many Republicans do you know who care a hoot about the plight of the poor, the jobless, the medically uninsured? The government programs that Republicans are always adamant to cut are the ones that help people who need help.

I have yet to hear any of my Republican friends express any concern whatsoever for the 1.2 million Iraqis who have died, and the 4 million who have been displaced, as a result of Bush’s gratuitous invasion. Many tell me that the five- and six-year long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are due to wimpy Americans “who don’t have the balls it takes” to win. Killing and displacing a quarter of the Iraqi population is just a wimpy result of a population that lacks testosterone. Real Americans would have killed them all by now.

Macho patriotic Republicans are perfectly content for US foreign policy to be controlled by Israel. Republican evangelical “christian” churches teach their congregations that America’s purpose in the world is to serve Israel. And these are the flag-wavers.

Neoconservatives, such as Billy Kristol, insist that loyalty to the country means loyalty to the government. Thus, criticizing the government for launching wars of aggression and for violating constitutionally protected civil liberties is, according to neoconservatives, a disloyal act.

In the neoconservative view, there is no place for the voices of citizens: the government makes the decisions, and loyal citizens support the government’s decisions.

In the neocon political system there is no liberty, no democracy, no debate. Dissenters are traitors.

The neoconservative magazine, Commentary, wants the New York Times indicted for telling Americans that the Bush regime was caught violating US law, specifically the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, by spying on Americans without obtaining warrants as required by law. Note that neoconservatives think it is a criminal act for a newspaper to tell its readers that their government is spying on them illegally.

Judging by their behavior, a number of Democrats go along with the neocon view. Thus, the Democrats don’t offer a greatly different profile. They went along with the views that corporate profits and the war on terror take precedence over everything else. They have not used the congressional power that the electorate gave them in the 2006 elections.

The author of this essay is a former official in the Ronald Reagan administration, most probably making him a Republican himself! I applaud him for his courage and honesty. I disagree with him however, when he states towards the end of his article, that Democrats can’t be any worse. In due time, with the same forces at work on the Democratic party they can produce equally disastrous results as we’ll come to see in the near future.