Sunday, January 14, 2007

Double or nothing


Bush has made it clear that he isn't interested in changing his strategic aims in Iraq - and that makes raising the stakes his only option.

It's my war, and I'll surge if I want to. That's what George Bush told the nation (and the world) on Wednesday night in a much-ballyhooed speech disclosing the much-ballyhooed shift in his Iraq policy.

In a way, he has no choice. While he's willing - finally - to admit his war is off the tracks and he has made errors, he is not willing to concede that total victory is beyond reach. In deciding to send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq, he has disregarded the recommendations from his father's crew - the Iraq Study Group led by James Baker. It proposed (between the lines) lowering expectations; its report did not use the word "victory". And the group advocated surges in regional diplomacy and in training for the Iraq military - with an eye toward initiating a withdrawal of US troops. It was basically a how-to-get-out-of-Iraq plan. Most Democrats in Congress and now even some Republicans favour a policy that will prioritise troop withdrawals.

Bush is not interested in an exit strategy. Instead, he is isolating himself from the foreign policy establishment, from Congress, and from the American public. Given that he's not prepared to change his strategic aim, he has no option other than to dump more US forces into Iraq. He can't stick with the failing status quo. And he's not pursuing extrication. So this man of action has to try something. Thus, send in the (extra) troops.

The problem is obvious: there's no telling whether escalation - which is what Bush is proposing - will work. Perhaps dispatching more soldiers to Baghdad will improve the security situation there and afford Iraq's leaders the "breathing space" Bush claims it will. But it's just as easy to envision sectarian militants temporarily taking their violence elsewhere and the government of the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, continuing its feckless ways.

Even advocates of Bush's plan describe it as a last-stab attempt that may well flop. "The chances are small," says Kenneth Adelman, a former Reagan administration aide who once predicted the war in Iraq would be a "cakewalk". But, he adds, Bush's surge is "worth doing" because it could change the "feeling" of the war.

It's asking a lot of American troops to place their lives on the line for a "small chance" of changing the "feeling" of the war - especially when so much depends, as Bush readily concedes, on the Maliki government, which so far has been unable or unwilling (or both) to quell the sectarian conflict unleashed by Bush's invasion. The idea that Maliki will crack down on sectarian violence (when his Shia-dominated government depends upon the support of Shia leaders who run militias) is a "fantasy of the highest order", says retired General William Odom, the former head of the National Security Agency. Bush's policy may be resting on a delusion.

It's hard to avoid the cliche of Bush the gambler throwing bad money after good. As Paul Pillar, a former top CIA analyst notes, Bush's speech did not present a new strategy. It merely unveiled a tactical shift - or acceleration. Bush is still stuck on the notion that US military power can bring about positive change within Iraq. Consequently, he's upping the ante. (After all, there's nothing wrong with the game itself.) And to convince the public - or maybe himself - he continues to misrepresent the nature of the war.

In his speech, Bush depicted the conflict in Iraq as one between "those who believe in freedom and moderation" and "extremists who kill the innocent and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life." This us-versus-them portrayal is a comic-book analysis of a many-sided conflict - call it a civil war, if you like - that pits various forces against each other.

Moreover, Bush said that if the United States were to disengage from Iraq, al-Qaida would be closer to establishing "a radical Islamic empire" from within that country. This was another simplistic stretch, for it is highly unlikely that either the Shia, Sunnis or Kurds - whichever group ends up on top - will yield power to the small band of al-Qaida fighters in Iraq. The "good news" in Iraq, says Pillar, is the widespread animosity against al-Qaida. It is hardly poised to take over.

With only a quarter of the American public approving of Bush's handling of the war, he cannot deny that the war is not going well. But he cannot bring himself to acknowledge that the mission is misguided. Until he recognises that reality, escalation is the only play available to him.

49 comments:

kathleen said...

"Cakewalk" Adelman, Pillar and Odum were on Diane Rehms show roundup this past Friday.( It is worth listening to). Adelman was a complete ass when Diane asked him what "victory" means. He was so incredibly arrogant when he said "let me explain it to you Diane". And then went onto tell us how "simple" it all was. This is the guy who told the world it would be a "cakewalk". Why is anyone one talking to people like Adelman, Kristol, Cheney hell they were WRONG WRONG WRONG about everything having to do with Iraq!


This morning news programs were filled with insights, I don't have my notes on me, but Hagel ripped through the escalation talking about diplomacy, Lieberman was still linking 9/11 and Iraq, so was Hadley.

Chris Matthews really thinks the Presidents speech is totally pointed at Iran.

There were some verbal tidbits that I will share later, if folks did not watch and listen for themselves.

Most all of the news programs that I watch and listen to are not even mentioning the WHO CONTROLS THE OIL ISSUE?

Still waiting to hear what Senator Rockerfeller does with Phase II of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence!

kathleen said...

On the Chris Matthews program this morning the general theme was that the President's ship is going down!

We know not fast enough for most of us and the rest of the world!

Cheney was on Fox with his stiff upper and lower lip but the flinching of nerves in his temple and fluttering eyelids gave him away...let's hope he will crack under the pressure!

You can certainly see effects of the pressure on Bush! He looks beat up!

Robert S. said...

Speaking of Who Controls the Oil...

Mark Weisbrot was on Washingtoon Journal this morning, arguing that Hugo Chavez was getting a bad rap in the U.S. media and elsewhere, the visit from Ahmadinajad not withstanding. Here is a small excerpt of a thoughtful (long) article of his:

Latin America: The End of an Era
by Mark Weisbrot
Published in the International Journal of Health Services, Vol. 36, No. 4 (2006)


The changes that have taken place in Latin America in recent years are part of an epoch-making transformation. To borrow from the Cold War framework that still prevails in U.S. foreign policy circles: we have witnessed the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the formation of newly independent states. A region that has been dominated by the United States for more than a century has now, for the most part, broken away. Of course there are still strong commercial, political, cultural and even military ties; but as in the states of the former Soviet Union after 1990, these do not have the same economic or political implications that they had a decade or even a few years ago.

These changes seem to have been largely misunderstood – and vastly underestimated – across the political spectrum. They are certainly noticed. Hardly a day goes by without prominent warnings that the region – or at least a good part of it – is on the road to “populist” ruin, or worse. On the right – including the Bush administration – this process is viewed through a Cold War prism, a Castro-Chávez-Evo Morales axis that poses a strategic threat to the United States. Imagined or implied links to terrorism and the drug trade (little or no evidence is provided) are sometimes added for effect, as when the State Department cut off arms sales to Venezuela on May 15 for “lack of cooperation” in fighting terrorism.

The liberal/center views are less bellicose, but similarly pessimistic about what is happening in the region. Foreign Affairs has run three articles since the beginning of the year warning of the dangers of Latin America’s left-populist drift, as well as sorry state of U.S.-Latin American relations. The news reports, editorials, and op-ed pages of America’s major newspapers mostly carry the same themes.

[...]

This is a dramatic change, especially if we consider that Washington in the 1980s spent billions of dollars, and supported the murder of tens of thousands of innocents, just to keep control over a few small, economically insignificant countries in Central America. President Clinton issued a rare public apology for the United States’ role in what the United Nations determined to be genocide in Guatemala, and Washington’s participation in the mass slaughter of El Salvador and the destruction of Nicaragua was even greater and more direct. Yet in the last few years these same people – literally in the case of such current and recent administration personnel as Elliot Abrams, Otto Reich, and John Negroponte – have watched almost helplessly as the bulk of the region, in population and economic terms, has slipped out of their grasp.

More.

*****************************

Unfortunately, the segment was followed by Otto Reich, who did his best to whitewash the history. And why did the Wush make secret Reagan's and 41's papers that were do to become public, first thing upon taking office?

Saladin said...

The neo-cons and their task masters have drawn a major line in the sand.
Source: http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/


January 13-16, 2007

America's greatest living former President Jimmy Carter is under attack by individuals who favor the narrow interests of a foreign country -- Israel -- against the wider interests of the United States. People with names like Dershowitz, Foxman, and Lieberman are content to shed the blood of America's military men and women, not for the interests of people in Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Austin, Texas; or Corvallis, Oregon but for narrow-agenda right-wing elements in Tel Aviv, Netanya, and Jerusalem, Israel. They and their money pipelines of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) are engaged in a huge propaganda effort to immerse the United States deeper into the Iraq quagmire and fight Binyamin Netanyahu's "wet dream" wars in Iran and Syria.

Well, the patience of the American people is wearing thin. If Senators Lieberman and McCain want to represent the interests of Israel's right-wing expansionists and fascists, this editor will personally drive them both to Dulles International Airport and put them on the next plane to Ben Gurion International, where they can announce at a press conference that they are running for the Knesset as members of the Likud Party. Then, they can vote to commit Israeli troops, not Americans, to fight wars in Iraq, Syria, and Iran.

The last-ditch propaganda assault by the neo-cons does not stop with the AIPAC and Anti-Defamation League spin machines in Washington. Hollywood is all of a sudden interested in making a movie about Boris Berezovsky agent Alexander Litvinenko, the poisoned ex-Russian agent who was involved in a slimy network of European right-wing disinformation artists and provocateurs and Chechen terrorists. Hopefully, Johnny Depp will not be lulled into the anti-Moscow propaganda of the neo-cons and Russian-Israeli mobsters exiled in Britain and Israel when he stars in his forthcoming movie about Litvinenko. If he does, he should have remained in the belly of the sea monster from his last pic.

On Saturday, January 27, the American people will mobilize against the Bush administration's war policies at a major demonstration in Washington, DC. Major themes are Ending the War on Iraq and No War on Iran. This editor and our progressive journalist colleagues from DC and around the country will be supporting the march. Join us in Washington on January 27.
============

kathleen said...

From the IAEA websitehat about Iran right now?

Mohamed ElBaradei: Iran is a very complicated issue. Iran is really about security in the Middle East.


The nuclear issue is the tip of the iceberg in Iran. It masked a lot of grievances from both sides, ranging from the hostage-taking in 1979 to the overthrow of the nationally elected government in Iran in the '50s, the Mossadeq government. So there's a lot of grievances that span over five, six decades, and the only way to resolve these issues of grievances, insecurities is just for all the parties to sit and talk together. I am delighted that now the U.S. have decided to go and talk to the Iranians directly, face to face, put all the issues on the table. That is the only way. I have been saying that for a couple of years. There is no other solution. There is no military solution, and there is no solution that is enduring which is not a negotiated solution. Talking to each other does not mean weaknesses. Talking to each other does not mean that you legitimize or de-legitimize a particular regime or you accept the records of human rights, none of that. Talking to each other means that we have differences, and we can only settle our differences through talking face to face.

So I am hopeful. I hope that dialogue will flourish, and I will continue to do my very best to make sure that I continue in my little way to undergird that process and make sure that it comes to fruition.

Do you think sanctions would be effective?

Mohamed ElBaradei: I don't believe in sanctions. You can go through escalation. You can go through using sanctions, using pressure. It's a process when both parties will hurt each other. We will go into a period of mutual hurting.


Sanctions didn't work in the past, will not work in the future. In fact, it puts the hard-liners in both camps in the driver's seat when you apply pressure. It's the hard-liners who become popular. When you start dialogue, when you start to exchange ideas, goods, when people start to travel, when the Iranian people will continue to enjoy a new fleet of Boeing aircraft, when they start getting their new computer software, I think that is when you empower the silent majority in every country who are eager to have a decent life as part of the human community.

capt said...

Sadly, I believe money is still the issue that has occupied our (the people's) place at the table.

Unless and until we address the influence and control of the mountains of dollars it will not matter if the money is from AIPAC, the AFL-CIO or moveon.org. We remain a muted impotent whisper below the din of special interest (read: profit)


capt

capt said...

Administration leaving out important details on Iraq



WASHINGTON - President Bush and his aides, explaining their reasons for sending more American troops to Iraq, are offering an incomplete, oversimplified and possibly untrue version of events there that raises new questions about the accuracy of the administration's statements about Iraq.

President Bush unveiled the new version on Wednesday during his nationally televised speech announcing his new Iraq policy.

"When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation," he said. "We thought that these elections would bring Iraqis together - and that as we trained Iraqi security forces, we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops.

"But in 2006, the opposite happened. The violence in Iraq - particularly in Baghdad - overwhelmed the political gains Iraqis had made. Al-Qaida terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognized the mortal danger that Iraq's election posed for their cause. And they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis.

"They blew up one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam - the Golden Mosque of Samarra - in a calculated effort to provoke Iraq's Shia population to retaliate," Bush said. "Their strategy worked. Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed death squads. And the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence that continues today."

That version of events helps to justify Bush's "new way forward" in Iraq, in which U.S. forces will largely target Sunni insurgents and leave it to Iraq's U.S.-backed Shiite government to - perhaps - disarm its allies in Shiite militias and death squads.

But the president's account understates by at least 15 months when Shiite death squads began targeting Sunni politicians and clerics. It also ignores the role that Iranian-backed Shiite groups had in death squad activities prior to the Samarra bombing.

Blaming the start of sectarian violence in Iraq on the Golden Dome bombing risks policy errors because it underestimates the depth of sectarian hatred in Iraq and overlooks the conflict's root causes. The Bush account also fails to acknowledge that Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite groups stoked the conflict.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Oh my, Bush and his neo-cronies are all lying again? They say a leopard never changes its spots? Lying is all this group knows how to do and it has worked in their favor (so far) - especially if they never are impeached for their lies and crimes.





capt

David B. Benson said...

A negative obit for Milton Friedman: by William Greider in the 2006 Dec 11 issue of The Nation.

Turns out he was a bad economist, but worse as a moral philosopher. Today the USA is in the grips of Friedmanism, so there are lots of folks not making a living wage, lots of homeless, etc.

"This is what the memorials left out: the cruel quality of Friedman's obliviousness."

Saladin, probably a living stipend, paid to all, is better than the so-called negative income tax. Probably that is better than minimum wage laws. But we make do with what we have, until the day that the electorate is ready to give up Friedmanism and return to common decency and (dare I say it) Christian charity. There, I said it...

kathleen said...

THIS IS AT THE IAEA WEBSITE. THIS LETTER/REQUEST SURE DID NOT MAKE THE MSM. I KNEW IRAN AND IRAQ HAVE BEEN AFTER ISRAEL FOR YEARS TO SIGN THE NPT.

THIS IS WELL WORTH READING

Fiftieth regular session
Item 21 of the provisional agenda
Israeli Nuclear Capabilities and Threat
1. On 22 May 2006, the Director General received a request submitted by the Ambassador of the
Sultanate of Oman on behalf of the Arab States that are members of the Agency, for the inclusion of
an item entitled “Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat” in the agenda of the 50th regular session of the General Conference.
2. The letter from the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman, and the accompanying explanatory memorandum relating to the inclusion of this item, are attached hereto.

Page 1
Text of letter received on 22 May 2006 from the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman
On behalf of the Arab States that are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (the
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Tunisia, the Republic of
Algeria, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Sudan, the State of Qatar, the Syrian Arab
Republic, the Republic of Iraq, the Sultanate of Oman (observer), the State of Kuwait, the Republic of Lebanon, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Yemen and Palestine (observer)), I have the honour to forward to you the request of those countries kindly to include an entitled “Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat” in the agenda of the fiftieth session (2006) of the Agency’s General Conference.
The explanatory memorandum relating to the request for inclusion of the above-mentioned item is enclosed herewith.
We hope you will be so kind as to take all the necessary steps in this regard.
(signed) Salim Mohammed Al-Riyami
Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps
Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman
Page 3

Page 2
Explanatory Memorandum on Israeli Nuclear Capabilities And Threat
Submitted by the Member States in the League of Arab States
1. An item on Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat has been on the agenda of the General
Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency for a number of years, and the Conference has
time and again adopted resolutions calling upon Israel to place its nuclear installations under Agency
safeguards.
In 1992 the Conference endorsed the President’s statement, which included the following: “... in view of the peace process already under way in the Middle East, the aim of which was to conclude a
comprehensive and just peace in the region, and which included in particular discussions on the
establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, it would be desirable not to consider
the present agenda item at the thirty-sixth regular session.”

2. The policies of the present Israeli Government have obstructed the peace process in the Middle
East and all initiatives to free the region of the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction, and in
particular of nuclear weapons, have failed.

3.The Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons which was held in May 1995 adopted a resolution on the Middle East expressing the
concern of the States Party to the Treaty at the dangerous situation in the Middle East resulting from
the presence in the region of nuclear activities not subject to IAEA safeguards, which put regional and international peace and security at risk.

4.In May 2000, the sixth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation
of Nuclear Weapons, which followed developments in the implementation of the resolution on the
Middle East issued at the previous Review Conference, issued a Final Document which, inter alia,
requested Israel to accede to the NPT as soon as possible and welcomed the accession to it of a
number of Arab countries during the period 1995–2000, while Israel remained the only country in the
region that had not acceded to the Treaty. The Conference reaffirmed the importance of Israel's
accession to the NPT and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA
safeguards, in realizing the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East.

5.In 1997, the Member States of the International Atomic Energy Agency reinforced its control of
nuclear activities through the Board of Governors’ adoption of the Model Additional Protocol to
enhance the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of the safeguards system, in respect of States which have concluded comprehensive safeguards agreements, in order to provide assurance that no
undeclared nuclear activities or installations exist.

6.Arab States have always shown their readiness to take practical steps towards creating in the
Middle East a zone free of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, and to
refrain from taking any measures which could hamper the attainment of this goal.

7. Whereas all Arab States have acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
Weapons, Israel continues to defy the international community by refusing to become a party to the
Treaty or to place its installations under the Agency’s comprehensive safeguards system, thus exposing the region to nuclear risks and threatening peace. Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons is likely to lead to a destructive nuclear arms race in the region, especially if Israel’s nuclear installations
remain outside any international control.



8. The International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion of July 1996 on the legality of the threat
or use of nuclear weapons stressed that there existed an obligation on the part of all States to pursue in good faith, and to bring to a conclusion, negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all of its
aspects under strict and effective international control.

9. At the forty-second, forty-third, forty-fourth, forty-fifth, forty-sixth, forty-seventh. forty-eighth and forty-ninth sessions of the Agency’s General Conference (September 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,
2002, 2004, 2003 and 2005), an item entitled “Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat” was reinscribed on the agenda of those sessions at the request of a number of Member States. The Agency’s General Conference endorsed at a plenary meeting of its forty-ninth session held in September 2005 the following statement by the President:
“The General Conference recalls the statement by the President of the 36th session in 1992
concerning the agenda item “Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat”. That statement considered it
desirable not to consider that agenda item at the 37th session.
“The General Conference also recalls the statement by the President of the 43rd session in 1999
concerning the same agenda item. At the 44th, 45th, 46th, 47th, 48th and 49th sessions, this item was,
at the request of certain Member States, re-inscribed on the agenda. The item was discussed.
“Several Member States requested that this item be included in the provisional agenda of the
50th regular session of the General Conference.”
All Member States of the Agency are invited to cooperate in order to remedy this situation
resulting from the fact that Israel alone possesses nuclear capabilities, which are undeclared and not
subject to international control and which constitute a permanent threat to peace and security in the
region.
The General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency must take appropriate
measures to ensure that Israel places all its nuclear installations under Agency safeguards and accedes
to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
A list of some international resolutions issued on this subject is attached hereto.
A number of resolutions issued by the United Nations General Assembly and the General
Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency call upon Israel to place all its nuclear
installations under Agency safeguards and to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
Weapons. These include the following resolutions:

kathleen said...

7.
Whereas all Arab States have acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Israel continues to defy the international community by refusing to become a party to the
Treaty or to place its installations under the Agency’s comprehensive safeguards system, thus exposing the region to nuclear risks and threatening peace. Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons is likely to lead to a destructive nuclear arms race in the region, especially if Israel’s nuclear installations
remain outside any international control

Gerald said...

Let's raise the stakes in Iran and Iraq with this idea

Gerald said...

Special Operations elements of the Warmonger’s Brigade would consist of all members of the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR and all other professional and amateur sports teams. If service to this country when we are so at risk is really necessary, as this administration claims, we need combat troops more than we need to be entertained. With their wonderful conditioning and the fact many athletes would rather fight than play the game they are paid to play, combat would be an excellent alternative. Naturally, all members of professional wrestling and boxing would be given command positions in this unit.

Staffing the Psychological Operations unit should be Max Boot, Cal Thomas, Ann Coulter, James Meigs, Andrew Sullivan, George Will and Charles Krauthammer. No one else could match this group when it comes to turning outrageous lies into palatable truth for the masses. Their lust for war is so strong they should be required to feel the sting of battle firsthand.

Anyone displaying "support the troops" ribbons would be eligible for immediate induction into the combat support battalion. Their children and grandchildren would be dispersed within the other combat battalions. If our country is in real trouble, supporting the troops should include providing the troops, and who better to do that than those who blindly support war.

If steps to establish the Warmonger’s Brigade as outlined above are not immediately enacted by those in the White House, Congress and the Pentagon, they are either the biggest hypocrites on the planet or this war is a hoax. Then again, it could be both.

Gerald said...

The Real Insult to our Troops

Gerald said...

Finally, if you want evidence of insulting elitist hypocrisy by Republicans, simply turn to pages 140-41 of Bob Woodward's book, State of Denial. There you'll find that pro-war zealot, Paul Wolfowitz (who never served in the military), recommended Cheney's daughter, Liz, to Jay Garner as a person capable of putting together a government in Iraq that had an Iraqi face. After meeting Ms. Cheney, Garner agreed - nepotism notwithstanding. But then Wolfowitz quickly added: "We can't send her over there because she's too high-risk being the vice-president's daughter."

Thus, for all of the Republican Party's faux outrage and populist prattle about Kerry's alleged elitism, Americans would do well ponder why it has become perfectly acceptable for thousands of ordinary husbands, wives, sons and daughters in America's military to risk their lives for their country, when it was not acceptable for Liz Cheney to risk her life to serve her country in Iraq. Don't we all recognize a genuine elitist double standard when we see it?

kathleen said...

Milton Friedman brought us Capitalism gone wild. He loved CE0's making 300 times the average worker. (he knew most of them)

Gerald said...

But then Wolfowitz quickly added: "We can't send her (Liz Cheney) over there because she's too high-risk being the vice-president's daughter." This is truly a sorry ass excuse for Liz Cheney not serving her counrty.

Saladin said...

Kathleen, comment number 1, they weren't wrong, they were LYING! Big difference! And the American version of capitalism is called Fascism.

capt said...

Helen Thomas and President Bush


capt

capt said...

"War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society these irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense.": - Randolph Bourne (1886 -1918) Source: in War and the Intellectuals, 1964

=
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought,but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)Physicist and Professor, Nobel Prize 1921

=
"All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it." - Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French historian - Source: Democracy in America, 1835

=
If we were to judge the US by its penal policies, we would perceive a strange beast: a Christian society that believes in neither forgiveness nor redemption: George Monbiot

===

Read this newsletter online http://tinyurl.com/dy6yy


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

"(The) Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude."

Mr Bush's comments come as his new plan to send 21,500 additional US troops to secure Iraq's capital and shore up forces fighting the insurgency in Anbar province is attracting sharp criticism from Congress.

*****

I am speechless. Bush actually thinks that?



capt

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Commander Codpiece himself still believes the delusion that we can win this war, but the smarter members of the War Party [damning with faint praise, I know] are already shifting from "We can win this war!" to "We could have won this war if you dirty filthy hippies hadn't stabbed us in the back again!" This strategy worked for them after the Vietnam War; they won the propaganda war at home, despite having lost the shooting war abroad.

Given their control of the bought-and-paid-for McMedia, they just might get away with it again. I hope the Net can make the difference this time. If we reality-based folks ever get this country back, we must restore the Fairness Doctrine, and use the anti-trust laws aggressively to shatter the media oligopoly. Once, I would have suggested starting with Faux, but now I say start with Disnazi. I want to see the blood from Mickey Mouse's severed head dripping down a pikeshaft. Selah.

From the swamps of Arkansas, Ivory Bill Woodpecker

Saladin said...

Mr. Benson, I see nothing wrong with Christian charity, it is help from the heart. I have reached the conclusion that whatever the govt. takes over inevitably ends up corrupt and full of pork. I do dot trust state sponsored socialism or corporate sponsored fascism. I see very little difference in the outcome of these methods which have been tried and failed the people miserably. It is time for us to take back our destinies and put the corp/govt. beast back in it's place. We can't rely on them to make all our decisions for us, they will always win and we will always lose that way. But you are right, until the electorate bring about the change they will have to live with whatever crumbs come their way. I hope that someday they will decide that barely scraping by is not acceptable.

Saladin said...

Presidential Candidate Fears "Gulf Of Tonkin" To Provoke Iran War
Developments converge to signify inevitable conflict despite ongoing chaos in Iraq

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Monday, January 15, 2007

Republican Congressman and 2008 Presidential candidate Ron Paul fears a staged Gulf of Tonkin style incident may be used to provoke air strikes on Iran as numerous factors collide to heighten expectations that America may soon be embroiled in its third war in six years.

Writing in his syndicated weekly column, the representative of Texas' 14th district warns of "a contrived Gulf of Tonkin-type incident (that) may occur to gain popular support for an attack on Iran."

The August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, where US warships were apparently attacked by North Vietnamese PT Boats, was cited by President Johnson as a legitimate provocation mandating U.S. escalation in Vietnam, yet Tonkin was a staged charade that never took place. Declassified LBJ presidential tapes discuss how to spin the non-event to escalate it as justification for air strikes and the NSA faked intelligence data to make it appear as if two US ships had been lost.

Should a staged provocation take place in an attempt to justify striking Iran it would not be the first time the current administration has considered such a ploy.

In February 2006, documents were leaked of a conversation between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush in which different scenarios to try to provoke Saddam into making a rod for his own back were discussed. One included painting a U.S. spy plane in UN colors and flying it low over Iraq in the hope it would be shot down and the incident exploited as a means of enlisting international support for the 2003 invasion.

Paul, who on Friday announced his intention to run for President in 2008, has resolved to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to head off the drift towards war, encouraging a commitment to policies of dialogue as outlined by the Iraq Study Group.

Commentators largely agree that the furore surrounding President Bush's speech in which he ordered the deployment of a further 20,000 troops to Iraq is a manufactured distraction to divert attention away from alarming developments that grease the skids for an inevitable conflict with Iran.
==========
Mr. Paul should probably avoid flying in any aircraft for awile.

capt said...

Time to remove a dictator




Enough of this pussyfooting: It's time to impeach.

Not just Bush: Bush and Cheney. Both belong behind bars, not just for high crimes and misdemeanors against the Constitution of the United States but for war crimes and murder on an International scale. Try them in the Senate and then ship them to Hague to be tried as war criminals and for the deaths of each American soldier and Iraq civilian in their illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq.

But let's not stop there: Arrest Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as co-conspirators in a plot to destroy the Democratic Republic of the United States of America. Add, as fellow conspirators, every member of Congress who voted to authorize Bush's dirty little war and who voted for the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act the fist time around and/or extension of that vile law the second time.

America is a country out of control, led by a government that doesn't listen to its people. Bush, on national television Sunday night, admitted he doesn't much care what the American people think about him or his war. He's going to do whatever he damn well pleases because he knows no one has the power or the balls to stop him.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

I think the time to remove the dictator was years ago but it is never too late to do the right thing, eh?



capt

capt said...

AN ISOLATED PRESIDENT WHO DOESN'T CARE



President Bush concedes he isn't popular, and that the war in Iraq isn't either. Yes, progress is overdue and patience is all but gone. Yet none of that changes his view that more U.S. troops are needed to win in Iraq.

"I'm not going to try to be popular and change principles to do so," Bush said in a television interview that aired Sunday night.

Digging in for confrontation, Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney say they will not budge from sending more U.S. troops to Iraq no matter how much Congress opposes it.

"I fully understand they could try to stop me," Bush said of the Democrat-run Congress. "But I've made my decision, and we're going forward."

As the president talked tough, lawmakers pledged to explore ways to stop him.

"We need to look at what options we have available to constrain the president," said Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, a possible White House candidate in 2008. Democrats remain wary, though, of appearing unsupportive of American troops.

A defiant Cheney, meanwhile, said Democrats offered criticism without credible alternatives. He pointedly reminded lawmakers that Bush is commander in chief.

"You cannot run a war by committee," the vice president said of congressional input.

The aggressive White House reaction came as the House and Senate prepare to vote on resolutions opposing additional U.S. troops in Iraq.

As the White House watched even some GOP support peel away from the war plan, it went all-out to regain some footing.

Bush gave his first interview from Camp David, airing Sunday night on CBS' "60 Minutes." It was his second prime-time opportunity in five days to explain why he thinks adding U.S. troops can help stabilize Iraq and hasten the time when American soldiers can come home. He addressed the nation from the White House last Wednesday evening.

"Some of my buddies in Texas say, 'You know, let them fight it out. What business is it of ours?'" Bush said of Iraqis. "And that's a temptation that I know a lot of people feel. But if we do not succeed in Iraq, we will leave behind a Middle East which will endanger America."

Yet when asked if he owes the Iraqi people an apology for botching the management of the war, he said, "Not at all.

"We liberated that country from a tyrant," Bush said. "I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude."

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

That last line still leaves me speechless.



capt

Saladin said...

Only Impeachment Can Stop Him

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Counterpunch
Monday, January 15, 2007

When are the American people and their representatives in Congress and the military going to wake up and realize that the US has an insane war criminal in the White House who is destroying all chances for peace in the world and establishing a police state in the US?

Americans don’t have much time to realize this and to act before it is too late. Bush’s “surge” speech last Wednesday night makes it completely clear that his real purpose is to start wars with Iran and Syria before failure in Iraq brings an end to the neoconservative/Israeli plan to establish hegemony over the Middle East.

The “surge” gives Congress, the media, and the foreign policy establishment something to debate and oppose, while Bush sets his plans in motion to orchestrate a war with Iran. Suddenly, we are hearing Bush regime propaganda that there are Iranian networks operating within Iraq that are working with the Iraqi insurgency and killing US troops.

This assertion is a lie and preposterous on its face. Iranian Shi’ites are not going to arm Iraqi Sunnis, who are more focused on killing Iraqi Shi’ites allied with Iran than on killing US troops. If the Iranians wanted to cause the US trouble in Iraq, they would encourage Iraqi Shi’ites to join the insurgency against US forces. An insurgency drawn from 80 per cent of the Iraqi population would overwhelm the US forces.

Bush’s entire “war on terror” is based on lies. The Bush Regime, desperate to keep its lies covered up, is now trying to prevent American law firms from defending the Guantanamo detainees. The Bush Regime is fearful that Americans will learn that the detainees are not terrorists but props in the regime’s orchestrated “terror war.”

The only action that can stop Bush is for both the Democratic and Republican leadership of the House and Senate to call on the White House, tell Bush they know what he is up to and that they will not fall for it a second time. The congressional leadership must tell Bush that if he does not immediately desist, he will be impeached and convicted before the week is out. Can a congressional leadership that lives in fear of the Israel Lobby perform this task?

All the rest is penny-ante. Revoking the Iraqi War Resolution as Rep. Sam Farr has proposed or requiring Bush to obtain congressional authorization prior to any US attack on Iran simply lets Bush and his Federalist Society apologists for executive dictatorship claim he has commander-in-chief powers and proceed with his planned aggression. Cutting off funding is not itself enough as Bush can raid other budgets. Non-binding resolutions of disapproval are meaningless to a president who doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.

Nothing can stop the criminal Bush from instituting wider war in the Middle East that could become a catastrophic world war except an unequivocal statement from Congress that he will be impeached.

Bush has made the US into a colony of Israel. The US is incurring massive debt and loss of both life and reputation in order to silence Muslim opposition to Israel’s theft of Palestine and the Golan Heights. That is what the “war on terror” is about.
==========
They have to be stopped.

kathleen said...

The Bush administration is setting up the Iraqi people for the CUT AND BLAME strategy!

capt said...

Bush Says His Decisions Helped Destabilize Iraq



Embattled US President George W. Bush conceded that his administration's decisions have increased instability in Iraq since the US-led invasion, CBS News reported Saturday. Bush defended his decision to invade Iraq by saying its leader had to go.

"Our administration took care of a source of instability in Iraq. Envision a world in which Saddam Hussein was rushing for a nuclear weapon to compete against Iran. He was a significant source of instability," Bush told the US broadcaster, whose reporter reminded him that Iraq was more unstable nearly four years after the invasion.

"Well, no question, decisions have made things unstable.

"I think history is going to look back and see a lot of ways we could have done things better. No question about it," Bush said in an interview to be broadcast Sunday during the CBS program "60 Minutes".

Bush lost the backing of Republican majorities in both houses of Congress in November elections, largely over voter dissatisfaction with his conduct of the war.

He has declared a new strategy for the war in an effort to head off opposition Democrats now controlling Congress. However, his call for an additional 21,500 US troops may not convince Democrats that the war in winnable.

Toppling Saddam was not a mistake, however, Bush told CBS.

"My decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the correct decision in my judgment. We didn't find the weapons we thought we would find or the weapons everybody thought he had. But he was a significant source of instability," Bush told CBS.

"We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude and I believe most Iraqi's express that."

The execution of Saddam's death sentence was mishandled, Bush said.

"I thought it was discouraging. It's important that that chapter of Iraqi history be closed," he said.

"They could have handled it a lot better."

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

We should send Bunnypants a big old bag of pretzels. This idiot is one spun bun, eh?



capt

kathleen said...

Democracy Now has great coverage on Dr. Martin Luther King Day!

capt said...

Wrong Winner Chosen Twice by Same Voting Machine



We now have two members of Congress seated as a result of elections decided by less than 400 votes. A simple analysis of current and historical data for expected undervotes shows that the double digit undervote rates in each candidate’s stronghold resulted in lost votes; votes that would have lead to a victory by either of the now designated losing candidates. The first shall be last, once again.

Stay tuned.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

I always bellyache about the money and influence peddling but this evoting issue is just as important.

Imagine a scenario where the two seats decided the majority issue? The two seats are not the issue. The issue is the vote and whether people can trust their vote is counted.




capt

PS - I added Democracy Now to the links for easy access.

kathleen said...

Amy so often has the best and most complete coverage. Basically the whole hour is dedicated to King.

Really worth it to watch the full hour!

capt said...

The following is the exact text of the spoken speech, transcribed from recordings.

From: HERE

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

*****

Where are the great speakers of our time? MLK will always be an inspiration.


capt

kathleen said...

Watch the coverage of Martin by Amy to the end. Amy is so fine she almost loses it. Damn what an incredible and inspirational man!

capt said...

Astronomers Find The Most Distant Star Clusters Hidden Behind A Nearby Cluster



Astronomers have discovered the most distant population of star clusters ever seen, hidden behind one of the nearest such clusters to Earth. At a distance of more than a billion light-years, the newly discovered star clusters provide a unique probe of what similar systems in our own galaxy once looked like.

"Given their distance, the light that we see today from these clusters was emitted more than one billion years ago and may hold important clues for understanding the evolution of globular clusters," said Jason Kalirai, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who will present the findings in a talk at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle.

Kalirai and Harvey Richer of the University of British Columbia led the study, which began as an investigation of a globular star cluster in the Milky Way galaxy known as NGC 6397. The researchers acquired one of the deepest optical images ever taken with the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys, focusing on a small field within NGC 6397. This cluster, home to hundreds of thousands of stars, is 8,500 light-years away, making it one of the closest globular clusters to Earth.


More HERE

capt said...

I Hate to Say ‘We Told You So,’ But …



How much would the war cost? David Corn, in a September 27, 2002, post on AlterNet, challenged the Pentagon’s reported projection of $50 billion and reminded readers that Lawrence Lindsey, Bush’s chief economic adviser, had said the cost could be as high as $200 billion. Corn also noted that some of the projections included nothing for "peacekeeping or occupation forces that might be required after the war." Total cost of the war so far? Somewhere between $349 and $379 billion.

More HERE

kathleen said...

When the right wing anti terroism legislation written by Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen ( pure and simple right wing, radical Israeli firster) and Congressman Lantos ( who is a complete radical) wins out to cut off funding to the democratically elected officals of the Palestinian people. These people have to go (get AIPAC OFF OUR BACKS) If we are not going to help the Palestinians...guess who will?

Iran replaces EU as top Palestinian donor
Conal Urquhart in Gaza City
Monday January 15, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Iran has become the single biggest donor to the Palestinian Authority, replacing the EU, according to a senior official in the Hamas government.
Ahmed Yusuf, an adviser to the Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, said that Hamas ministers had received promises of donations amounting to £500m in recent travels around the Muslim world, the largest of which was from Iran.

The Palestinian Authority was previously funded by the EU and Palestinian tax revenues, most of which were collected by Israel. When Hamas was elected to run the PA, the EU and Israel stopped transferring money, forcing it to seek funds from elsewhere.


Article continues

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last year, Iran pledged last year to donate £125m to the Palestinian Authority to help Hamas survive the international boycott.
Israel, the EU and the US insist that Hamas must recognise Israel and honour previous PA agreements in order to receive money from them. Hamas has refused and said that it would seek alternative funding.

The donations include cash and funding for projects such as hospitals, clinics and a football stadium. Most of the money has not been transferred to the Hamas government because banks refuse to handle it for fear they could be prosecuted in the US or lose business in countries that have designated Hamas a terrorist organisation.

Yesterday, Yuval Diskin, the head of Israel’s secret service, Shin Bet, warned that international sanctions against the PA were forcing them into a closer relationship with Iran. “Tehran is offering training and a lot of money,” he told cabinet ministers.

In 2005, the EU provided the PA with £300m for wages and infrastructure projects. In 2006, it froze all direct funding to the PA government, passing funds instead to the office of the Mahmoud Abbas, the president, and international organisations.

The European Union Border Assistance Mission, which oversees Gaza’s border terminal with Egypt in Rafah, said that Hamas ministers have carried £28m in cash into Gaza.

“Iran is the most generous country. They have promised a lot and given a lot. We wish the Arab countries were as generous,” said Mr Yusuf. Other donors include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Algeria, Libya and Kuwait.

The international boycott of the PA has given Iran an opportunity to increase its influence in the area. Previously, Palestinians were closer to the Sunni Muslim regimes in Saudi Arabia and in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Mr Yusef said: “Our relations with Iran have angered Saudi Arabia but sometimes we have no choice. We would prefer to have closer relations with Saudi Arabia and maybe that will come.”

Meanwhile Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, met Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, in Jerusalem. The pair agreed they should have a three-way summit with Mr Abbas in the near future. No time or place for the meeting has been set.





Special report
Israel and the Middle East

World news guide
Israel and the Palestinian territories
Middle East

Glossary
Commonly used terms in the Middle East conflict

Interactive guide
How the Israelis and Palestinians came to war
Israel enters Gaza

Government sites
Israeli Knesset (parliament)
Israeli ministry of foreign affairs
Israeli government site
Office of the Israeli prime minister
Palestinian Ministry of Information

Media
Ha'aretz (Israel)
Israel Insider (Israel)
Jerusalem Post (Israel)
Maariv (Israel)
Arabic Media Internet Network (Palestinian)
Palestine Chronicle (Palestinian)
Electronic Intifada (Palestinian)
Bitter Lemons (Israeli-Palestinian)

kathleen said...

CALL, E-MAIL VISIT AND LOBBY YOUR REPRESENTATIVES. TELL THEM YOU WANT THEM TO GET AIPAC OFF THE BACK OF OUR NATION. THAT YOU WANT A MORE BALANCED AND FAIR LEGISLATION AND SUPPORT WHEN IT COMES TO THE ISRAELI PALESTINIAN CONFLICT.

Division of congressional posts
seems to favor Jewish issues
By Ron Kampeas
January 10, 2007




WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (JTA) ・The new Congress doesn稚 just feature more Jews in powerful positions than the community has seen in more than a decade ・it also features more friendly faces across the board, Jewish leaders say.
鄭 net positive・is how one pro-Israel activist described it.

Lobbyists who focus on domestic issues are pleased, too, noting in particular friendly faces who deal with elderly care and immigration issues.

RELATED ARTICLES
Democrats galvanize Jews
Pelosi era begins in House
No one denies that the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, in power from 1995 until 2006, was overwhelmingly pro-Israel. But with Democratic wins in both houses, the 110th Congress removes from power several maverick Republicans who wanted the United States to be more critical of Israel, and boosts to leadership lawmakers who are not just Israel-friendly but intimately acquainted with the U.S. Jewish community.

That痴 partly because some of the top leaders are from the community.

Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), the sole Holocaust survivor in Congress and one of Israel痴 staunchest defenders in the House of Representatives, assumes control of the International Relations Committee. His deputy is Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), also Jewish.

Lantos replaces Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), who was often critical of Israeli settlement policy, particular its effects on Palestinian Christians. Hyde was retiring in any case, and moving into the top Republican spot on the committee is Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), whose pro-Israel record is unmatched.

Four of the committee痴 seven subcommittee chairmen are likely to be Jewish, though the positions will only be formalized by week痴 end:

・In line for chairmanship of the Middle East subcommittee is Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.);

・Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) is set to head the International Terrorism and Nonproliferation subcommittee;

・Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) is ready to helm the Western Hemisphere subcommittee, which deals in part with terrorist and Islamist incursions in the Americas; and

・Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) is set to take over Europe and Emerging Threats, which deals with anti-Semitism on that continent.

Other Jewish members guiding House committees include:

・Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who will deal with banking laws in the Financial Services Committee;

・Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), likely to assume a high profile heading the Government Reform Committee as he investigates the Bush administration痴 handling of the Iraq war, the 2005 hurricanes and rising energy costs; and

・Berman, who as chairman of the Ethics Committee will be closely watched to see if Democrats make good on their pledges to clean up government.

Perhaps the most prominent pro-Israel boost is of Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who becomes majority leader. Hoyer is on a first-name basis with much of the board of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and has been to Israel multiple times, exhibiting broad knowledge of its political workings.

His immediate predecessor, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), now the minority leader, is friendly but not as well acquainted with the intricacies of Middle East politics.

Lawmakers considered less friendly to Israel are also set to head committees, but none that deal directly with the Jewish state. They include Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) at Energy and Commerce; Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) at Judiciary, although Conyers distinguished himself recently by delivering perhaps the most stinging rebuke to former President Carter for likening Israel痴 settlement policy to apartheid; and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) at Resources.

Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), who will head the powerful Appropriations Committee, is in the 吐riendly but critical・category, backing assistance to Israel but diverging sharply on its settlement policy. Obey once proposed linking assistance to changes in that policy.

However, with the burgeoning deficit and major Iraq war funding battles in the offing, Obey is not likely to have much time to deal with Israel. He値l leave that to Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), who will chair the Foreign Operations subcommittee. Lowey, who began her political career leading Jewish groups, is quite friendly to Israel.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the new House speaker, has elevated a number of Jewish members to powerful committees. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) joins Appropriations after just two years in the House, as does Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). They join Lowey and Rep. Steven Rothman (D-N.J.) on the committee.

Jews now number 30 in the House ・a net increase of four from the last Congress.

Other significant new committee appointments include Reps. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) and Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) to the Ways and Means Committee, which deals with taxes; and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who marks her freshman term by joining the sensitive Armed Services Committee.

There are a record 13 Jews in the Senate, including 11 who are Democrats or caucus with Democrats ・20 percent of the Democratic presence.

Jews in chairmanship positions include:

・Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) at Armed Services;

・Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) at Environment;

・Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) at Homeland Security;

・Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) at Aging;

・Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) at Rules; and

・Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) at Economic.

The most significant change for Israel, however, is at the Foreign Relations Committee. Gone is Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), who as chairman of its subcommittee was perhaps the toughest congressional critic of Israel痴 settlement policy. His replacement is Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who is eyeing another bid for the presidency in 2008 and is unlikely to deviate from his record of solid support for Israel.

Similarly, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), the committee痴 chair, is also on the presidential track and shows no sign of changing his pro-Israel views. He replaces Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who was circumspect about Israel but allowed the committee considerable leeway in questioning Israeli policies.

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.), who will head the Appropriations Committee, is also a tough Israel critic but, like his House counterpart Obey, will be preoccupied by the deficit and Iraq, and thus is unlikely to initiate changes in Israel funding. He takes over from Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who had a solid pro-Israel record.

Missed will be Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who headed the Foreign Operations subcommittee. His determination was key to the last-minute passage in 2006 of the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, which isolates the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. It is not yet known who will replace McConnell.

Both Houses have Jews in the top political position of caucus chair ・Schumer in the Senate and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) in the House.

Jewish leaders who deal with domestic issues already were expressing off-the-record approval of the Democratic wins because the community as a whole favors Democratic Party positions on issues such as health care, elderly care, stem-cell research and poverty.

But activists said several chairmanships in particular stood out: Kohl, for instance, brings his Jewish sensibilities to the Committee on Aging. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who has long supported naturally occurring retirement communities, a program pioneered by United Jewish Communities federation umbrella organization, now is in a position to codify federal support for NORCs as chairwoman of the Health Committee痴 Retirement subcommittee.

鉄he痴 a longtime champion of senior issues in general and of the NORC program,・said William Daroff, the UJC痴 Washington director. 展e致e had a great working relationship with her.

Stacy Burdett, a lobbyist with the Anti-Defamation League, noted the ascension of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) to the chairmanships of their respective houses・immigration subcommittees. Their views should stem an anti-immigrant tide that the ADL has noted with concern, she said.

典hey are both leading proponents of fair and generous immigration,・Burdett said.

Robert S. said...

Speaking of the coverage of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day...

Of course, Amy was great on the subject.

Not so great were the folks at C-Span's Washingtoon Journal, hosted today by Peter Slen and featuring:

Deborah Simmons, Washington Times, Deputy Editorial Page Editor; Mark Fitzgerald, Editor & Publisher, Editor-at-Large & Kevin Merida, Washington Post, Associate Editor - Post Series: Being a Black Man

So here is my respose, sent to all the participants, Congressman John Lewis, and now, my friends here.

********************************

I am taking a little while today to respond to the Washington Journal segment on Martin King's birthday to express my disappointment in the way the subject was treated. Let's start with the limited discussion on Race Relations, rather than the totality of his life; his guiding philosophy, his political evolution. Seen this way we would have to have discussed the philosophy of Ghandian Non-Violence, which, after all, was expressed in all of his political work, even down to the method of his actions. I don't recall any of you ever using the term, "non-violence."

Where does this lead? Well, for one, it allows someone such as Deborah Simmons to have an opinion that seems to say that because the upper echelons of Government are now open to a few like Condoleeza Rice or Colin Powell, that this, by itself, is an expression of the ideal that Dr. King expressed. That certainly seems a limited view, when viewed from the totality of his life's work. How do either Colin Powell or Condoleeza Rice further the goals of Non-Violence? Both have expressed and acted to resort to the use of force as a matter of policy. This is stricktly contradicted by Dr. King's underlying philosophy, which was ignored on your program.

When was the last time any of you have read the text of the Riverside Church Speech of April 4, 1967? (excerpts)

"If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately, the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horrible, clumsy, and deadly game we have decided to play. The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways. In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war."

"*I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do immediately to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict:"

"Number one: End all bombing in North and South Vietnam."

"Number two: Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation."

"Three: Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in Southeast Asia by curtailing our military buildup in Thailand and our interference in Laos."

"Four: Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support in South Vietnam and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and any future Vietnam government."

"Five: *Set a date that we will remove all foreign troops from Vietnam in accordance with the 1954 Geneva Agreement."

"Part of our ongoing...part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any Vietnamese who fears for his life under a new regime which included the Liberation Front. Then we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We must provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country, if necessary. Meanwhile... meanwhile, we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must continue to raise our voices and our lives if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative method of protest possible."

"*As we counsel young men concerning military service, we must clarify for them our nation's role in Vietnam and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. I am pleased to say that this is a path now chosen by more than seventy students at my own alma mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in Vietnam a dishonorable and unjust one. Moreover, I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors.* These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest."

"Now there is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war in Vietnam. I say we must enter that struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing."

"The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality...and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing "clergy and laymen concerned" committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end, unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy."

"And so, such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God."

"In 1957, a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years, we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru."

"It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin...we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered."

(end of excerpts)

That not one of you could postulate, that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be against this war, and would indeed be marching to end it seems laughable on its face. I do not claim to speak for the dead, I only allow the truth of what he did say to be heard.

How was this panel assembled, and to what purpose? Could not an advocate for the poor or the peaceful have been found? Could not one of the panelists have simply mentioned non-violence? I'm going to send this letter to Congressman John Lewis as well as the names addressed above.
The memorial to Dr. King was mentioned, and the funding for the same was advocated. I rather feel a more fitting tribute to the man would be an accurate discription of his thoughts and ideals, and a futherance of the work which he left unaccomplished.

So expand your thoughts; think not should we expand or end affirmative action, for example, think rather, why are there so few seats at the table that they must be fought over by equally qualified candidates.

Thank you,
Robert S.

kathleen said...

Duh Fox scored with Cheney! Not one challenging question..Surprise!


Sunday Show Wrap-Up
The vice president sits down with Chris Wallace.
by Sonny Bunch
01/14/2007 10:42:00 PM

Fox News Sunday scored the biginterview of the weekend: Chris Wallace spent a half hour with Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney used his time to remind the American people of exactly what's at stake in Iraq, and that this is not solely a sectarian civil war we are now involved in: "Remember what Bin Laden's strategy is: He doesn't think he can beat us in a stand up fight, he thinks he can force us to quit. He believes that after Lebanon in '83 and Somalia in '93, the United States doesn't have the stomach for a long war." He also pointed out that this has only recently metastasized into a sectarian conflict because of the action of al Qaeda influenced Sunni terrorists, telling Wallace "We went up until the spring of '06, and the Shia sat back and did not respond to the attacks, they sat there and took it. But after they got hit at the golden dome in Samarra, that precipitated the sectarian violence we're seeing now. . . . no war ever goes smoothly all the way, sometimes you have to adjust."

On Democratic opposition to the president's plan for a surge in troop strength, Cheney was somewhat detached. "You can't run a war by committee. The Constitution is very clear that the president is in fact, under article two, commander in chief," Cheney said, adding that the "Democrats have now taken control of the House and the Senate. It's not enough for them just to be
critics anymore. We have these meetings with members of Congress . . . but then they end up critical of what we're trying to do, advocating withdrawal or so called redeployment of the forces, but they have absolutely nothing to offer in its place. I have yet to hear a coherent policy out of the democratic side with respect to an alternative to what the president's proposed."

@ Weekly Standard

Saladin said...

Visible Origami
Reflections in a Petri Dish
Smoking Mirrors

I just don't get it.
Well, the results are in and its official, Bush is a dictator. I expect a biography written about him to be titled; “George Bush, The American Pinocchio” There has never been a more ludicrous figure in the highest office in the land. Nixon, of course, was a strange one, looking like a demented Bob Hope with their matching ski-slope noses. But Nixon had a brain. Nixon was intelligent, if bent and well understood the theater of international politics.

Why I say Bush is a dictator is that he has just said that it doesn’t matter what congress wants or does. He will determine the course, length and intensity of the war. He said that they have their job and that is to provide the money. He is not going to run his war by committee; as it looks now his vetoes could be overruled. It’s anybody’s guess where this is going to wind up. We are in uncharted territory. We are in no man’s land.

For some of you it’s just business as usual and for some of you it is a scary thing indeed. It’s actually worse than we know and somewhere halfway through this year we are going to look around and see that our world has been changed forever.

Observant people have noticed all of the little nuances in the Patriot Acts, the building of domestic detention camps and the clamp down on basic freedoms, long taken for granted as well as the ongoing restrictions on movement. Don’t worry. It’s for your own good.

Now, unless you are a frothing dog on a short chain, you know that Bush is a lunatic. He’s both crazy and incompetent. He’s an insane, cartoon character in real life and the sensation of his intent is everywhere around us. You have to look back over the years. You have to watch the progression of events as they unfolded and notice the changes that followed each event. If you look closely you can clearly see that very bad shit has happened, is happening and, unless something interferes, very, very bad shit is about to happen.

I’m not going to go into all of the details. If you want a brilliant summing up I suggest you watch Keith Olbermann’s commentary on Bush following his speech. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J46RGzcxzMg That says it all. It says it with passion and razor sharp intelligence. Keith Olbermann pretty much stands alone at this time. There isn’t anyone at his level. I suggest you check it out. No need for me to sort through the same dirty laundry one more time. You’ve heard it all before. You’ve heard it in a hundred places where people were inclined to tell the truth and connect the dots. You know by now or… you’re a frothing dog on a short chain.

Pretty soon, I don’t know when, either Israel or the U.S. or both together are going to attack Iran. There are so many false flags waving in the media it’s like running through laundry lines in a third world city. The very same lies used to drum up the previous engagements are being used again. And they are going to use nuclear weapons.

Something bothers me. There’s something I can’t put my finger on. When you look at Bush’s performance over these last years you see someone who has failed in spectacular fashion at everything he has done. He has wasted enormous amounts of money. He has stolen enormous amounts of money for his friends. Grievous crimes are committed in broad daylight every single day. Halliburton and a number of corporations are doing things that at any other time would demand prison sentences. People who have nothing to do with AlQaeda or terrorism are locked up incommunicado at Guantanamo Bay. Their lawyers are being threatened. Nearly everywhere you look the natural order of life has been bent into tragic and uncomfortable shape. And Bush wasn’t legally elected even once.

The reality of terrorism is that it is a minor nuisance. More people die from eating peanuts than from terrorism and the biggest act, the 9/11 assault was engineered by the present government with the help of various associates in order to fabricate a fear that makes it possible to steal your freedoms for your own protection. Any sane person can see through the veneer of bullshit and lies. By now it is obvious to most of us that 9/11 was an inside job. A CNN poll some months ago found that a shocking 84% believed that the government was somehow involved. But… nothing is done.

Nothing is being done about any of it. A new congress was elected and the citizens of America sent their collective message to end the war now. Yet, nothing is being done. How is it that this is possible? This is what I don’t understand. Why did Nancy Pelosi say there would be no impeachment hearing? How is it that Joe Lieberman can say that an investigation into Katrina won’t be happening? That’s absurd. How is this possible?

There is some kind of gas or chemical in the air that appears to cloud the human mind. It just doesn’t make sense that the first order of the day wouldn’t be to bring Bush and his felon associates up on charges. His crimes outdistance Clinton’s the way a shoplifter compares to a serial killer. There isn’t any doubt that he is guilty of monstrous human rights violations, assaults on the constitution, voter fraud, high crimes, misdemeanors and treason. Bush and his men are worse monsters than Saddam. Why isn’t there an enormous hue and cry?

I hesitate to say this but it is almost as if Bush is The Devil. Everywhere people are subservient to him. Men and women with real credentials and power scurry about this Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as if well, as if the Devil himself were in attendance. Something isn’t right. Things like this do happen in other countries but never before in America. The news is manufactured and spoon-fed to the masses. Glaring evidence of this administration’s involvement in 9/11 is everywhere to be seen and congress won’t say a word. Surely they all know. What power is it that has reduced this democratic organization to a mere rubber stamp?

It just goes on. Bush is now so out of control that people everywhere are seeing it yet nothing is being done. His own party opposes him and it makes no difference. It only takes one state legislature to institute impeachment proceedings and it looks like New Mexico is going to do it, so maybe something is going to happen but people… look what is happening to your world. Look at all the lies that have been exposed, the crimes committed. What is this dreadful miasma that lies over the land? There’s a television laugh track running alongside it. I can’t get a grip on it. It’s like something in the corner of your eye that keeps looming but when you look at it, it disappears.

It is a certainty that anyone else would have been impeached and exiled long ago. How is it that this incompetent coward can go on and on like the sea and nothing happens? I know that the media is part of it, so are the government and the corporations. They’re collectively engaged. But it feels like there is something else, something hidden but immensely powerful in a temporal sense. Things don’t add up. Nothing about the Iraq war effort, or Katrina or obscene tax breaks for the super rich makes any sense. It seems like deliberate incompetence. It’s as if the bunch of them said, “Hey, let’s fuck everything up as bad as we can.”

Pointless troop surges, deliberate provocations abroad, the senseless murders of hundreds of thousands of people and… nothing. It just goes on. The nation is in the grip of an angry sleep and everything is distorted and strange. Where are the representatives of the people crying out for redress. Was everyone in congress given a secret memo. Did aliens take over the Earth? Is there a powerful hypnotic in the water supply? It just goes on lurtching like a drunken Frankenstein toward some terrible epiphany.
=========
Or maybe Edgar Steele is right, it's brain worms!

kathleen said...

Talk of the Nation did 15 minutes on Dr. Martin Luther King. Well they basically did not even mention Dr. Martin Luther King they talked about integration for 15 minutes.

AND DIANE REHM DID NOT EVEN TOUCH IT. DIANE IS AWAY AND THEY CHOSE TO REPLAY TWO OLD SHOWS. THEY DID NOT EVEN REPLAY A SHOW THAT THEY DID IN THE PAST ON DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING. THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES!

WHATS UP?

THAT IS DISGRACEFUL..CONTACT TALK OF THE NATION AND THE DIANE REHM SHOW. THEY SHOULD BE VERBALLY HAMMERED! TALK ABOUT RACISM!

Robert S. said...

Saladin,

There is a little something, that maybe we can put our fingers on.

We know the end that befell JFK, RFK and MLK.

And we know that immediately post 9/11 there were those ANTHRAX attacks on journalists and democrats like Pat Leahy.

I did mean to bring up the FBI spying on MLK, COINTELPRO and associate that with the abuses of today's CIA/FBI domestic agenda in the letter above, but I guess it slipped my mind in the writing...

kathleen said...

HERE IS THE PROGRAMMING FOR DIANE REHMS TODAY. HOW CAN WE WONDER WHY IT IS TAKING NEW ORLEANS TO RECOVER.

DIANE IS AT THE VERY WHITE SUNDANCE FESTIVAL, AND SHE SOMEHOW FORGOT TO MAKE SURE THAT HER PRODUCER AT THE VERY LEAST REPLAYED A SHOW DONE IN THE PAST FOCUSED ON DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING! THIS IS PITIFUL

WRITE THE DIANE REHM SHOW..THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES

Monday, Jan. 15, 2007
10 - Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, Priscilla Warner: "The Faith Club" (Free Press) (Rebroadcast)
11 - Jay Allison: "This I Believe" (Henry Holt) (Rebroadcast)

kathleen said...

If this lack of coverage by both of these programs on Dr. Martin Luther King is not a form of racism. I don't know what is.

At a time when it especially important to focus on what Dr. Martin Luther King was dedicated to "non-violence" justice and peace. Both of these shows do not even talk about Dr. Martin Luther King.

Contact them ..

AND WE WONDER WHY NEW ORLEANS IS TAKING SO LONG TO RECOVER AND GET THE ATTENTION THEY NEED!

kathleen said...

Major investment bank issues warning on strike against Iran

Michael Roston Monday January 15, 2007
Bank sees February or March timeline if Israel strikes

Warning that investors might be "in for a shock," a major investment bank has told the financial community that a preemptive strike by Israel with American backing could hit Iran's nuclear program, RAW STORY has learned.

The banking division of ING Group released a memo on Jan. 9 entitled "Attacking Iran: The market impact of a surprise Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities."

ING is a global financial services company of Dutch origin that includes banking, insurance, and other divisions. The report was authored by Charles Robinson, the Chief Economist for Emerging Europe, Middle East, and Africa. He also authored an update in ING's daily update Prophet that further underscored the bank's perception of the risks of an attack.

ING's Robertson admitted that an attack on Iran was "high impact, if low probability," but explained some of the reasons why a strike might go forward. The Jan. 9 dispatch, describes Israel as "not prepared to accept the same doctrine of ‘mutually assured destruction’ that kept the peace during the Cold War. Israel is adamant that this is not an option for such a geographically small country....So if Israel is convinced Iran is aiming to develop a nuclear weapon, it must presumably act at some point."

Sketching out the time line for an attack, Robertson says that "we can be fairly sure that if Israel is going to act, it will be keen to do so while Bush and Cheney are in the White House."

Robertson suggests a February-March 2007 timeline for several reasons. First, there is a comparable time line with Israel's strike on Iraq's nuclear program in 1981, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's political troubles within Israel. Second, late February will see Iran's deadline to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1737, and Israel could use a failure of Iran and the UN to follow through as justification for a strike. Finally, greater US military presence in the region at that time could be seen by Israel as the protection from retaliation that it needs.

In his Jan. 15 update, Robertson points to a political reason that could make the assault more likely - personnel changes in the Bush administration may have sidelined opponents of attacking Iran.

Preisdent Bush recently removed General John Abizaid as commander of US forces in the Middle East and John Negroponte as Director of National Intelligence, both of whom have said attacking Iran is not a priority or the right move at this time. The deployment of Patriot missile batteries, highlighted in President Bush's recent White House speech on America's Iraq policy, also pointed to a need to defend against Iranian missiles.

The ING memo was first sent to RAW STORY by an anonymous tip and confirmed Monday by staff on the bank's emerging markets office, who passed along the Jan. 15 update. The full PDF documents can be downloaded at this link for the Jan. 9 report, and this link for the Jan. 15 update. A screenshot of the first page is provided below.



BOYCOTT ISRAEL/
DIVEST FROM ISRAEL

kathleen said...

Quiz Yourself on 'Israeli Democracy'
Post Your Comment! 1 comment eMail to a friend

למאמר בעברית

Posted on APRIL-22-2002

Is it Israeli Democracy or "Jewish Democracy", you be the judge. Are you aware that:

Prior to the 1948 war, Palestinian Christians and Muslims were a two-third majority of the population of Palestine, who owned and operated 93% of Palestine's lands?

Prior to the 1948 war, most Israeli Jews were persecuted and dispossessed European Jews who made a one-third minority of the population?

For Israel to become a "Jewish majority" it opted to expel and dispossess the two-third Palestinian majority?

80% of the Palestinian people were dispossessed from their homes, farms, and businesses and have been kept out for the past 54 years?

95% of Israel's lands (which is mostly owned by Palestinian refugees) is open for development to Jews only?

Israeli-Palestinian citizens live almost in segregated communities (or ghettos) because development is strictly limited outside their villages? Ironically, the word "ghetto" was invented to describe the living conditions of Eastern European Jews in Tsarist Russia!

For just being "Jewish" you gain an automatic citizenship in Israel? Plus tens of thousands of dollars in subsidies too.

Palestinian Muslims or Christians refugees, who were born in the country and later expelled, cannot gain Israeli citizenship? Of course, unless they convert to Judaism first!

Pretending to be Jewish in Israel is punishable by law with up to one year's imprisonment? On the other hand, if you pretend to be a Muslim or Christian the law does you no harm!

When the Palestine problem was created by Britain in 1917, more than 92% of the population of Palestine were Arabs and there were at that time no more than 56,000 Jews in Palestine? That Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Palestinians at that time lived in peace with each other?

Palestinians in the early 20th century owned 97.5% of the land, while Jews (native Palestinians and recent immigrants together) owned only 2.5% of the land?

Close to 4 million Palestinian Muslims and Christians are being subjected to Israeli laws that are different than the laws governing the 4.5 million Israeli Jews? Is this a "democratically" elected apartheid, or not, that is the question?

In the occupied West Bank there are "Jewish Roads" and "Non-Jewish Roads"?

Israel issues national identify cards where the religion of the card holder is clearly shown in bold type?

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza drive vehicles with license plates that have different coloring than the cars driven by Israeli settlers?

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza hold ID cards that are of different colors than the cards held by Israeli settlers?

The only form of Judaism recognized by the "Jewish state" is Orthodox Judaism, so most US Jews could not get married in Israel. Furthermore, the only conversion to Judaism recognized is Orthodox, so most US converts aren't Jewish enough.

Just prior to the 1948 war, Jews owned under 7% of Palestine's land, and to increase their share after the war, they passed the "Absentees' Law" which dispossessed the Palestinian majority land owners who later became "absent". What is even more tragic was the passage of an oxymoron law, called "Present Absentees' Law," which dispossessed the Palestinian-Israeli citizens who became internal refugees in Israel. It is worth noting that the internal Jewish refugees were not dispossessed as a result of this racist law.

The U.S. funneled into the Israeli economy over 130 billion dollars, which is almost twice the amount devoted to rebuilding Western Europe after WW II!

Israeli democracy is a facade for "Jewish Democracy?"

Israel has nuclear weapons, and it was close to dropping one on Cairo in 1973?

Israeli soldiers use human shields in battle to minimize their casualties?

Israel killed over 20,000 Lebanese and Muslims (90% of whom are civilians) with American made and paid for weapons?

If by accident we have missed facts that differentiate Israel from other democracies, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Saladin said...

Robert, there's also this. I've learned not to trust anything the govt. or media says anymore.

The Death Of Martin Luther King

Ignore if you already know about this.

capt said...

"The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), US civil rights leader.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16183.htm

=
"The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), US civil rights leader

=
"He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it" - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), US civil rights leader

=
"In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law ... That would lead to anarchy. An individual who breaks a law that his conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law."- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), US civil rights leader

===

Read this newsletter online http://tinyurl.com/dy6yy

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

New thread!