Israel’s existence is not in question


In the minds of the Arab world, Israel exists and will exist and they are no threat to Israel.  The problem is Israel is a threat to its neighbors; inspite of that there has been a muted response from Israel’s enemies.  Juan Cole offers a translation of Ayatollah Sistani’s comments on the Israeli aggression and even I am shocked at how mild mannered it is.

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

The beloved Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip have, since noon yesterday, been subjected to a vicious attack and to continual strikes that have resulted so far in hundreds of victims being martyred or wounded.

This assault comes after a suffocating blockade to which this oppressed people has been subjected for several months. It had resulted in the creation of harsh humanitarian conditions as a result of lack of food, medicine, fuel and other necessities of daily life for the citizens.

Mere verbal expressions of condemnation and disapproval of what is being done to our Palestinian brethren in Gaza, and of solidarity with them, mean nothing before the immensity of this horrific tragedy to which they are being subjected.

The Arab and Muslim worlds are called upon, more than at any past time, to take practical steps in order to stop this continual aggression and to break this cruel blockade that has been imposed on that proud people.

We ask God, the Exalted, the All-Powerful to take the hands of all and lead them to that wherein lies goodness and righteousness. Verily, he is the All-Hearing, the Gracious.

Meanwhile, while everyone in corporate American media seems to hedge reporting on the massacre taking place in Gaza, Israeli media seems to have a more realistic handle on the catastrophe raging around their corporate media’s head.

Israel embarked yesterday on yet another unnecessary, ill-fated war. On July 16, 2006, four days after the start of the Second Lebanon War, I wrote: “Every neighborhood has one, a loud-mouthed bully who shouldn’t be provoked into anger… Not that the bully’s not right – someone did harm him. But the reaction, what a reaction!”

Two and a half years later, these words repeat themselves, to our horror, with chilling precision. Within the span of a few hours on a Saturday afternoon,the IDF sowed death and destruction on a scale that the Qassam rockets never approached in all their years, and Operation “Cast Lead” is only in its infancy.

poignantly poised Gordon Levy in Haaretz.  With pretty good moral clarity, Tom Segev writes:

It is admittedly impossible to live with daily missile fire, even if virtually no place in the world today enjoys a situation of zero terror. But Hamas is not a terrorist organization holding Gaza residents hostage: It is a religious nationalist movement, and a majority of Gaza residents believe in its path. One can certainly attack it, and with Knesset elections in the offing, this attack might even produce some kind of cease-fire. But there is another historical truth worth recalling in this context: Since the dawn of the Zionist presence in the Land of Israel, no military operation has ever advanced dialogue with the Palestinians.

 

even though his conclusion is somewhat flawed and undermines what preceeded it.  What’s important is these ideas found their way in mainstream publications in Israel, yet aren’t even remotely mirrored here in the States. I could surmise that’s an indication of the moral strength of certain elements of Israeli media which is greater than their American counterparts. Honestly, I can’t account for the differences in reporting, but the American media is not doing any service to its customers by keeping them in the dark about Israeli trangessions, and our politicians are not working in the best interests of our country when they excuse the faults of a regime hell bent on death and destruction usually ending at our expense.

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The Republican Epiphany


It’s a bit too late and dishonest, but it’s now being said that Bush is a socialist.  Progressives and people on the left have been saying the same thing but were excoriated for it, accused of being traitors and in so many words told to leave their country.  However, the signs of Bush’s socialist leaning tendencies have been apparent since 911.  That marked the beginning of big government, although that may not quite be the “big government” Republicans now have in mind.

“We can’t be a party of small government, free markets and low taxes while supporting bailouts and nationalizing industries, which lead to big government, socialism and high taxes at the expense of individual liberty and freedoms,” said Solomon Yue, an Oregon member and co-sponsor of a resolution that criticizes the U.S. government bailouts of the financial and auto industries.

What seems to have particularly drawn the Republicans’ ire is the financial bailouts and that indeed should be enough to upset EVERYONE within the borders of the US.  The Republicans however, are responsible for the mechanism behind the bailouts and how it works.  Although the country has been in a recession for over a year, the Bush Administration made the economy a priority only within the last 6 months and hurried initiatives through Congress, much like they did after 911, scaring all who opposed them with dire political consequences (this was an election year) as well as economical ones for the country.  In that kind of atmosphere all felt obliged to give the Administration what it asked for, but this is how Bush has worked throughout his two terms, turning every issue into a national crisis which could only be solved through the immediate and direct involvment of Government.  At every turn Democrats and Republicans participated in this turns towards “socialism” and very few people, except those on the fringe, complained.

Now, Republicans are claiming Bush is a socialist? Bush is NOT the target of this resolution being mulled within the RNC, rather it is Obama.  In fact the resolution itself won’t be considered until after Obama takes office, but what party officials want to do is tie Obama to Bush’s policies and plaster the “socialist” pejorative to the Democrats to use against them in ’12.  Republicans are quite happy with the big government they voted in during the last eight years and they know much of what they instituted will not be rescinded.  Government rarely if ever gives back power, and Bush has done a very good job of handing Democrats hot button issues that are irreparable in the short term so Republicans can position themselves as a “viable” opposition party….much like the Democrats did in ’06, and regain control of the executive and legislative.  Why anyone would want to be President under these circumstances is beyond me.

So the Bush is a socialist accusation is only window dressing to ensnare the Dems who will be forced to defend what transpired during Bush’s term, because once government gives, they can’t taketh back, while they, Republicans argue what they indeed voted for is no good and irrelevant.  A neat political trick.

The misery continues


at the hands of the Israeli blitzkrieg, but this time on the high seas and in front of people who have a voice and have spoken out against it.  What’s striking is the perception by all too many that a legal action can be met with violent means; the boat clearly known as a relief boat in international waters is justifiably attacked and lives endangered.  This, according to some is an acceptable action, and shows the extent to which the Israeli spin is embraced and given voice.

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bambino1

More from Gaza


palestine_bound_boat Israel has never been interested in peace with its Palestinian neighbors, nor can it even seriously be considered a humane government when it comes to its relations with other countries.  The story of the Dignity, a boat which set sail from Cyprus with relief supplies for Gaza is one more recent example which highlights Israel’s genocidal nature.  Only 66 feet long and packed with supplies the Israelis had denied Gaza’s citizens for the last six months, the boat’s cargo was checked by Cyprian authorities before it set sail for Gaza and no doubt it’s movements were monitored by all concerned since it set sail.  So why have the Israelis attacked the boat and denied it entry to Gaza’s ports?

Israeli crimes on the high seas date back to the 1967 war when its forces attacked the USS Liberty which killed scores of American personnel and parallels can certainly be drawn with this latest attack.  Both attacks occurred at a time when Isarel was fighting a war of aggression and which they wanted no witnesses to their brutality.  Both attacks happened over an extended period of time and drove the vessel from the area it was to another more distant destination, but one interesting feature of this recent attack is the Dignity has a history with Israeli officials of bringing relief aid to Gaza without any problems before.  Why when following “standard operating procedures” to assuage Israeli concerns  would the Israelis deny them entry for a relief mission?  All the talk about concern for civilian lives and minimizing  civilian casualties, in the light of this latest development, can only mean the attacks on Gaza by Israeli forces are meant to terrorize all the inhabitants of Gaza, to frighten and humiliate them  and to make it more internationally acceptable to do so.

Hat tip to DesertPeace for this article.

The stuff of “urban legend” that’s not an urban legend


Sometimes I wonder if people are really this dumb! An employee noted on a receipt the reason why a customer returned a product as being a “dumb nigger”. First of all the employee entered a racially charged and offensive term on a piece of paper and then gave that paper to a customer,which had identifying information of the employee  for all to see.  Is that professional suicide or what!?  Perhaps this was termination by idiocy, the poor clerk no longer wanted a job but couldn’t quit because doing so would mean they couldn’t qualify for  unemployment.  I don’t really know why anyone would be so stupid, but it happened, and the customer has the paper to prove it.

Moving beyond that however, it appears the offended party is handling this better than the general public.  Talk of boycotts are in this observer’s opinion completely unnecessary and inflammatory.  The store has fired the employee and issued an apology, and even the idiotic employee gave the customer what he went there for, albeit more than he wanted, so the Justice Department’s weighing in (just like big government, trolling for an excuse to be intrusive in everyday life) and “community activists” calling for boycotts of the store are more examples of how issues of race are used and exploited sometimes for less than the public good.

I salute the Slater family who seem to be handling themselves well and I salute the store owners who have dealt with the matter at hand judiciously.  Now everyone else should leave them all alone.

Check out the local news’ take on this from Youtube.

The hell hole known as Gaza


Life in Gaza has always been tough for Palestinians.  For some, death  may be a relief from their everyday misery.  Here is a five part series on Youtube, I strongly urge you check out.