Another PR Problem

The IDF says it did not know that it was firing at a TV crew when it killed Reuters journalist Fadel Shana on 4/16/08.

His car had clear press markings, and his clothes had clear press markings.
Israeli troops were unable to identify Reuters News cameraman Fadel Shana as a journalist before they fired at him from a tank, the Israeli army said on Wednesday, citing the preliminary results of an investigation.

Shana died while filming on a road in central Gaza on April 16. Five other Palestinians also died in the attack.

Shana had been traveling in a vehicle that was marked with large press and TV stickers on the front and sides and was wearing blue body amour with "Press" in large blue letters on a white fluorescent panel on the front.

Responding to repeated requests for an official explanation of the incident, Israeli military spokeswoman Major Avital Leibovich said the army had not yet completed its investigation but would provide a full account as soon as possible.

"The initial investigation showed they were not identified as members of the press," she said.

I'm no military expert, but I find it impossible to believe that the IDF doesn't have the latest, greatest laser sight technology on all their tanks and weapons. So either one of two things happened:

1. They didn't use the sights and fired indiscriminately at a bunch of Palestinian men, not knowing or caring who they were or what they were doing.

2. They used the sights, saw that Shaha was a journalist, and killed him anyway.

So which one is it? Do they just fire indiscriminately at Palestinians, or do they specifically target journalists? Because I don't see how they can justify shelling these people unless they had some information on who they were. And the fact is, they were unarmed journalists and civilians posing no threat whatsoever to the tank parked a half mile away. So did they know that and not care, or did they not bother to find out before firing?

You know, a moral person would not fire a tank shell at a group of unidentified people. It's really as simple as that. Every moral person can see this, and no amount of public relations spin can make this truth go away.

By the way, American Citizens, do you like knowing that we paid for the IDF to have the very best military technology so that they can use it to kill innocent people? Isn't it enough of a scourge on humanity that our own enormous military has killed innocent civilians in our names, that we must augment our shame by enabling the Israeli army's atrocities?

Living with Uncertainty

The entire argument for attacking Iran rests on a hypothetical future scenario, also known as fear-mongering: If we allow Iran to develop nuclear power technology, they might start up a secret nuclear weapons program, and then they might use a nuclear weapon to attack Israel. Therefore, we must attack Iran and stop all these things from ever possibly happening. (Notice that Iran might attack Israel in this hypothetical scenario, not the United States.)

I’m sorry, but that is just lame, especially given that Iran has the right to develop peaceful nuclear power technology, and Iran has complied with the IAEA, and Iran has not attacked another country in a couple hundred years. Israel, on the other hand, has nuclear weapons but never declared them, and Israel has repeatedly attacked its neighbors and continues to do so. So let’s get real. Israel is the country that needs to be controlled here, not Iran.

But if that does not satisfy those who can’t stand living with the possibility that some horrible thing might happen to Israel somewhere down the road, let’s just talk about the horrible things that would definitely happen to all of us here on Earth if the US or Israel attack Iran’s nuclear power plants. There’s a moral argument to be made here, or at least an argument about justice. Let’s set up our little scales of justice with Israel’s paranoid fears of Iran on one side and the consequences of bombing Iran’s nuclear power plants on the other side, shall we?

Never in history has it happened that nuclear power plants and nuclear enrichment facilities have been deliberately bombed. Such facilities, everywhere in the world, operate under severe safety conditions because the release of radioactive materials is deadly, immediately and also long after exposure. If the USA or Israel deliberately bomb a fully fueled nuclear power plant or nuclear fuel enrichment facilities, containment will be breached; radioactive elements will be released into the environment. There will be horrific deaths for families in the surrounding vicinity. The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated 3 million deaths would result in 3 weeks from bombing the nuclear enrichment facilities near Esfahan, and the contamination would cover Afghanistan, Pakistan, all the way to India.

Reactors and enrichment facilities are built of extra strong concrete, often with multiple layers of containment domes, often built underground. Bombing such facilities will require powerful explosives, earth penetrator war heads, maybe nuclear warheads. The explosions will blow the contamination high into the atmosphere. Where will it go is a question that is difficult to predict.

The nuclear fallout from bombing Iran will have a half life of 700 million years. That is a duration difficult to comprehend. Jesus Christ was preaching a mere 2 thousand years ago. In the evolution of humans, our earliest ape-like ancestors were walking upright a mere 5 million years ago. The Bush administration and its Israeli advisors are now planning to contaminate the planet for 700 million years. From the rhetoric of Presidential candidates John McCain and Hillary Clinton, they, too, think that is a good idea. The US media seem to applaud.

Either Americans do not understand what it is they are preparing to do, or they think themselves immune to the consequences. The planet is not large. What goes around, comes around. Smoke from the Gulf War oil fires went around the world and was detected in South America. Radioactive fallout from bombing a nuclear reactor will also go far, especially considering that it has millions of years to make the trip. The Persian Gulf nations of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran have more than half the world’s known oil reserves. The 1981 study by Fetter and Tsipis in Scientific American on “Catastrophic Releases of Radioactivity” estimated that bombing a nuclear reactor would cause 8600 square miles around the reactor to be uninhabitable, depending on which way the wind blows. Bombing the Bushehr reactor will mean half of the world’s oil is instantly inaccessible. Bombing Iran means that Americans will not be driving cars any where, any more, for a long, long time. The American Way of Life will be finished. An economic collapse unimagined by Americans will follow. Mechanized farming and food transport will be finished. Famine is a possibility. Food riots are a certainty, in the land of plenty, with the fuel gauge on empty.

Hmm. I dunno. I’m thinking the Israelis better learn to live with a little uncertainty, because honestly, I think polluting our planet with nuclear contamination for 700 million years is asking just a wee bit too much of the rest of us. But, admittedly, I’m a bitch that way.


A Charming Young Man

I love how his English is just a little shaky, except for all the swears and insults, which come out perfectly.

It's a PR Challenge

The Israelis have been forced to acknowledge the unpleasant fact that the IDF murdered a family of innocent Palestinian civilians yesterday. These very young children and their mother, preparing to eat breakfast inside their home…obviously the circumstances make it difficult to cast the blame aside. But don’t you worry! Even under the most challenging conditions, prominent Israelis will rise to the occasion and find clever and unique ways to rid themselves of moral responsibility. Behold…

Source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3537284,00.html

Olmert makes a brave start, boldly going where he fears to tread.

At the start of the weekly government meeting, Olmert said, “I would like to express my deep regret, on behalf of the Israeli government and the State of Israel, over the tragic incident in which a mother and her four children were killed in Beit Hanoun.”

Had he only stopped there. But no. He had to go on and put a frame around the apology, to place it in context with Israeli suffering. No matter how sad and unjust these deaths, they do not compare, in any way, to the greatest suffering ever experienced at any time, ever: Israeli suffering.

He added, however, that “we are also sorry for our own children, who have been getting hurt for many years now, including the child whose leg was amputated several weeks ago.

Yes. Let us not forget that an Israeli child was seriously hurt, but we are allowed to forget that dozens of Palestinian children were killed in the IDF attacks on Gaza in March. He also said this:

I believe our regret is more real, sincere and painful than the regret of the terror organizations we are facing. But as long as the terror organizations fire at the south’s residents, the IDF will continue to operate against them.”

Even Israeli regret, as a form of suffering, surpasses the regret of other people. The Palestinians just cannot compete, no matter how many innocent babies and children die.

Moving on to Ehud Barak, Israeli Defense Minister, who yesterday spoke from an Israeli weapons factory. His remarks were reported on Israeli radio. In his eyes, there is nothing much to apologize for.

We see Hamas as responsible for everything that happens there, for all injuries,” he said while on a tour of an Israeli weapons factory, as reported on Israeli radio. “The army is acting and will continue to act against Hamas, including inside the Gaza Strip.”

He said something similar while touring a security fence near the West Bank:

Hamas is responsible for everything happening in the Gaza Strip. The operations also put civilians in danger. We are not happy when civilians are hurt, but view Hamas as the one to blame,” he added.

Other ministers made their own attempts to deflect criticism away from Israel.

Hamas is using the children and the families as a human shield, but war is war and terror is terror,” said Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai. “Although we do not wish to hurt innocent people, but unfortunately this happens. We must improve our PR efforts to present Israel in a better way.”

This next one is particularly spectacular. The victims, while inside their home getting ready to eat breakfast, allowed people carrying weapons to walk about between their houses and near their children. Yes!!! Can you believe it? Instead of preparing breakfast for her four small children, that mother should have been outside patrolling the street with a cast iron frying pan, brandishing it against Palestinian men and keeping them all away from her house and her children. Clearly, it’s her own fault for failing to keep the area clear of terrorists.

Housing and Construction Minister Ze’ev Boim said, “Israel must continue to develop means which will distinguish between involved and uninvolved populations. We must remember that not all the civilian population is uninvolved. The families in Beit Hanoun allow people carrying weapons to walk about between their houses and near their children.

And this one is interesting, too.

Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit wondered, “Aren’t children being hurt here? Aren’t we in a state of war with Hamas? Every night children are injured here. We are at war and have no other way but to fight Hamas. I object to a ceasefire with Hamas which will allow them to continue smuggling weapons.”

Every night children are injured in Israel? What is he talking about? I’m quite positive we all would be well aware of that if it in fact were happening, because certainly, all forms of Israeli suffering are disseminated rapidly throughout the world media. Maybe he is referring the people from Sderot who were profiled in this story. Just look what they have to endure.

Residents say the worst part of their disrupted lives is the constant fear - never knowing where the next rocket will fall. “I am falling apart, it is killing me, it is killing my family,” says Shulamit Sasson, 44.

Her family of seven sleeps side by side on mattresses on their living room floor, to be close to a makeshift bomb shelter. Her 13-year-old son wets himself each time he hears public loudspeakers blare “tseva adom” - “color red” - meaning a rocket will arrive in less than a minute.

This month a rocket landed next to the family’s home, blasting away the windows and filling it with a cloud of smoke. Sasson said she spent five days in the hospital with trauma.

“These are not people who are simply feeling bad. In the middle of the night they are woken up by their own thoughts, by their own fears, by the memory of these fears,” said Marc Gelkopf, who conducted the phone survey.

Sasson said that four years ago a rocket landed near her son, Raziel, then 9, inside a schoolyard and sent him into shock. She says she hasn’t worked since, and Raziel has never recovered.

“My son goes to school, hears a siren, wets his pants, and comes home - is that a normal child? A 13-year-old boy that needs me to go into the shower with him - is that a normal boy? I need to stand next to him when he goes to the bathroom - is that a normal child?” she said. “I cannot be this child’s psychologist, I cannot be his social worker. I am his mother - that’s all I can be.”

Such suffering. These must be the kind of children injured every night in Israel. I’m sure you can see that there’s no comparison between this profound Israeli suffering in Sderot and the stupid, self-inflicted Palestinian suffering in Gaza and the West Bank.


The Witnesses

I read with interest this LA Times story about the Gen X and Y crowd.

People everywhere are coping with rising credit card balances, falling home values and layoffs. But such worries are particularly jarring for a younger slice of the workforce that has known little but long-term financial prosperity and optimism.

After all, a large share of today’s 20- and 30-somethings — a nearly 80-million strong cohort — were in college or high school (and some in grade school) the last time the country experienced a severe financial jolt. Some can barely remember the mild recession of 2001, which was followed by an extraordinary boom that coincided with their entry into the workforce.

Raised amid a long stretch of financial bounty and weaned on video games, cellphones, iPods and weekends at the mall, many Generation X and Y members have barely seen a time when they couldn’t spend freely on the latest styles and gadgets.

The Boomer generation (1946-1964) mostly enjoyed a social contract which included joining the work force and expecting things like job security and pensions. I was born in 1965 and entered the workforce in 1987. Technically I’m Gen X but never really felt like I fit in with the Xers. I always loved old people, even as a young adult.

Around the time I entered the workforce, things had already begun to change. Many people who had worked at the big companies of the day (ATT, GE, Data General) were offered great deals to retire. Some people had been with the same company for about 30 years and looked forward to retiring in financial security. They would not have to worry about health insurance. Their houses were paid for. They could go off and golf or whatever. But within a matter of a few years, the pressure to leave increased and the packages got less generous. I believe we called it corporate downsizing at the time. Companies forced out the people who didn’t leave voluntarily. By the mid-nineties all the old-timers were gone and those good old days were over. Suddenly we worked under a new social contract: we all shared the burden of health insurance with our employers and none of us expected job security anymore.

As a young person new to the work force, I saw it all happen. I saw the doors closing, and it happened quickly. I knew people who had come up through the old way and then retired, and I knew that their experience would not be my experience. Even though my blue-collar parents had raised me with the expectation that I would earn and enjoy the perks of a good corporate job, and even though I had prepared myself to do just that, it was all a mirage in the desert. No oasis existed for people who worked hard and played by the rules. It evaporated just as I arrived.

Of course I worked, but I didn’t make much progress. There was so much downward pressure and so many people who wanted up. I couldn’t figure out how to move upward, but I saw others my age or younger figuring it out. What was it? What did they have that I didn’t have? They seemed so much freer, so much less constrained. And I think that was exactly why they were selected to succeed. Corporations no longer wanted to promote people like me. I was too old-school. They promoted the ones who wouldn’t mind overlooking a few things, who wouldn’t be offended by a little indiscretion here or there. They promoted the people who had an edge, a cut-throat edge. The combination of being smart and honest, rather than being an asset, was in fact a liability.

So I had been raised with an ethic from my immigrant mother and blue collar father (born 1930s), an old school ethic that was literally being dismantled as I entered the workforce. The oldest Boomers’ (born 1946) children came into the workforce around the same time and just after I did, but they were new school. We have different ethics, and their ethics aligned with their Boomer parents who were now in charge of corporate America. Therefore, they succeeded while people like me didn’t. Why? Because people like me are basically too dangerous for corporations. Starting in the late 80s, they didn’t let ethical people deep inside corporate America because they could turn into whistle-blowers and ruin the fun.

Anyway, there aren’t that many of us in this no-man’s land between the Boomers and the Xers, but I think we’re going to have the last laugh. I hereby name us the Witnesses, because we’re the ones who saw the whole thing turn to shit thanks to the Boomers, their rotten kids and their greedy ethics.

Go ahead. Put us on the stand.

Psychopaths always blame their victims

I’m sure you haven’t heard on TV news that the IDF killed a Palestinian family of four small children and their mother, among others, as they were getting ready to eat breakfast. I mean, if an Israeli family was killed we’d be hearing about it non-stop; but this was just a Palestinian mother and her four little children. Just some collateral damage…

Four Palestinian children, all members of one family, were killed Monday morning in an Israel Defense Forces strike in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources reported. According to the report, an IDF shell hit a house in the town of Beit Hanoun, killing five members of the Abu Meatak family. Palestinian medics identified the dead children as sisters Rudina and Hana Abu Meatak, aged 6 and 3; and their brothers 4-year-old Saleh and 15-month-old Mousad. Their mother, Miyasar, was in her late 30s. Her two older children were critically wounded in the strike, the officials said.

A 15-year-old boy was also killed in the strike while making his way to school. Nine people were reportedly injured, three of them sustaining serious to critical wounds.

A Palestinian source in the Strip said that a member of the al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad’s military wing, was also killed by IDF soldiers.

The IDF reported that it had attacked a group of gunmen spotted near forces operating in Beit Hanoun. Soldier belonging to the Givati patrol brigade exchanged fire with Palestinian gunmen in the area. During the military activity, an IDF soldier was lightly injured in the leg and rushed to hospital.

It sounds like there was some gunfire exchanged between IDF soldiers and Palestinian gunman, slightly wounding an IDF soldier, and then a shell hit the house killing all these innocent civilians. Source article http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3536673,00.html.

The IDF is looking into the incident, but has yet to obtain a full picture of what happened. Military sources noted that a group of gunmen was spotted shortly after 8 am near Givati forces operating in the area. An aircraft fired at them and hit them, while tanks fired shells towards the area.

Translation: The IDF has yet to prepare an adequate excuse for the utter disregard of Palestinian lives. They need an excuse suitable for international consumption because, though they don’t care about these people who were killed, they know that some people will whine about it causing a slight inconvenience to Israeli public relations activities. So the IDF is ‘looking into the incident, but has yet to obtain a full picture of what happened’, which means they haven’t got the story down yet. They do know, however, that ‘a group of gunmen was spotted…near Givati forces’, and the IDF hit them with aircraft fire and then, just to be sure, fired tank shells toward the area. After all, ‘a group of gunmen’ must never be allowed near IDF forces, even if they gunmen are inside Gaza where they live. An IDF soldier patrolling Occupied Gaza could get injured and have to be rushed to hospital. So, you know, the IDF was just defending themselves.

“The area where the fighting is taking place is very crowded,” a source said. “The terror organizations are knowingly operating near civilians and putting them in danger. We are thoroughly looking into the circumstances of the incident.”

You see, it’s not the IDF’s fault that these people were killed because the ‘area where the fighting is taking place [Gaza, where the Palestinians live and can’t leave] is very crowded [right, because the Israelis have them trapped in there like animals and they can’t leave]…The terror organizations [aka Palestinian men trying to help their people survive] are knowingly operating near civilians [uhh, yeah, seeing as they’re all trapped inside a cage] and putting them in danger [or trying to save them from death by Occupation]’.

One of the options the army is looking into is whether the family members were hurt as a result of an explosion of weapons on the gunmen’s bodies.

Yeah, how do you know it wasn’t a Palestinian suicide bomber that murdered this Palestinian family by blowing up the entire house? Huh? That could happen.

Addressing the possibility that the family was hit by IDF fire, the source said, “This is an essential activity taking place within the populated areas in a bid to distance the terrorists from the border fence. If we don’t operate there, we’ll find the terror organizations on the border fence and inside Israel.”

OK OK…it’s possible that the IDF killed them, but listen…the Israelis have to fight the Palestinians over there in Gaza and the West Bank so that they don’t have to fight them in Israeli cities. Fighting in Israeli cities would just, like, totally wreck their beautiful democracy. Ask George Bush. This is totally moral.

We are pursuing a comprehensive strategy to win the war on terror. We’re taking the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home. (Applause.) We’re denying our enemies sanctuary and making it clear that America will not tolerate regimes that harbor or support terrorists. And we’re spreading freedom, because the terrorists know there is no room for them in a free and democratic Middle East. (Applause.) - George W. Bush speech, 7/4/05, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia


This is a Test

As I’ve said before, an attack on Iran would be very foolish for many reasons. But to leave aside all the moral reasons, since that seems to bore people, it’s sufficient to focus on the economic consequences to people here in America.

The minor skirmish yesterday between a US cargo ship and some Iranian speed boats caused oil to jump $3 per barrel almost immediately.

US military personnel aboard a cargo ship traveling into the Persian Gulf fired nearly a dozen warning shots at Iranian speed-boats Thursday, according to several breaking news reports.

Reports of the incident prompted a nearly immediate spike in oil prices, which jumped $3 per barrel.

…The cargo ship apparently was sailing into the Strait of Hormuz, site of a showdown between US Navy warships and Iranian speedboats in January.

More than one Iranian “fast boats … were approaching this vessel at a high rate of speed,” in the Persian Gulf, MSNBC’s Pentagon correspondent said. US military personnel on board fired eight .50-caliber rounds and three warning shots from M-16s when the boats got within 100 yards of the cargo ship. After the shots were fired, the ships veered off, according to MSNBC.

Miklaszewski said the military believes the Iranians were mostly trying to harass the ship and perhaps see how close they could get before being fired upon. He said those types of boats could not do much damage unless they got nearly right up next to the ship and were packed with explosives.

This does not seem to be a very dangerous incident as far as military matters go, and yet look at the logarithmic response in oil prices. Just imagine if something bad really happened. Use your imagination. Extrapolate.



I notice today a story about the Israeli settlers: Israelis Claim Secret Agreement with US.

A letter that President Bush personally delivered to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon four years ago has emerged as a significant obstacle to the president’s efforts to forge a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians during his last year in office.

Ehud Olmert, the current Israeli prime minister, said this week that Bush’s letter gave the Jewish state permission to expand the West Bank settlements that it hopes to retain in a final peace deal, even though Bush’s peace plan officially calls for a freeze of Israeli settlements across Palestinian territories on the West Bank. In an interview this week, Sharon’s chief of staff, Dov Weissglas, said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reaffirmed this understanding in a secret agreement reached between Israel and the United States in the spring of 2005, just before Israel withdrew from Gaza.

U.S. officials say no such agreement exists, and in recent months Rice has publicly criticized even settlement expansion on the outskirts of Jerusalem, which Israel does not officially count as settlements. But as peace negotiations have stepped up in recent months, so has the pace of settlement construction, infuriating Palestinian officials, and Washington has taken no punitive action against Israel for its settlement efforts.

Israeli officials say they have clear guidance from Bush administration officials to continue building settlements, as long as it meets carefully negotiated criteria, even though those understandings appear to contradict U.S. policy.

Who are these people, the settlers?

The word settler has a nice, wholesome, Laura Ingalls Wilder feel to it, no? It’s a word that evokes the rugged individualism of those hardy souls who set off in covered wagons across the prairies, killing and displacing Native Americans heroically fighting off savage Indians as they set up their little towns and villages in the heartland. Oh, they were God-fearing people, our settlers, were they not? Or perhaps we think of the Pilgrims or the tragic souls who founded Jamestown, fleeing religious persecution and striking out on their holy errand to make a shining city on the hill. It’s all good, right? Who wouldn’t be proud to trace the family tree back to some quintessentially American settlers?

Settlers are by definition people who bravely go into the unknown, fighting off hostile natives as they valiantly fulfill their God-given calling to make ’something’ out of ‘nothing’.

Is that what the Israeli settlers are doing? Is that the narrative we’re being fed, subconsciously and overtly?

It’s not true. It occurs to me that good Americans might assume that they can relate to these people based on a vague historical narrative that we barely articulate. Some Israeli settlers might be lovely people. But you should know, my fellow Americans, that some of these settlers are absolutely despicable. They hate, and most disturbingly, they teach their children to hate from a very young age.

Please watch this video to see what I mean.

Do you understand? These settlers have gone into Palestinian areas and planted themselves. The spit on the Palestinians, verbally abuse them, throw rocks, even murder them, and the IDF soldiers do nothing. The settler children act like little monsters, obviously encouraged by their parents. The entire situation reeks of moral depravity. I have read that IDF soldiers consider some of the settlers pure evil — that’s how bad they are. The IDF! Not exactly a bunch of boyscouts.

Go to the main page and watch some more videos. It’s unbelievable. Watch Rt 443, night vigils, forced eviction, water shortage. This is the reality of the Occupation. This is the reality of settlements and the Occupation. This is the reality that you are not supposed to know, American Citizen, because when you understand this you must admit that this is wrong. So utterly, morally wrong. So incredibly offensive to decent people everywhere.

It’s easy to go about our lives while this outrage happens on the other side of the planet, but we need to wake up. American public opinion and American tax dollars and American leaders make this all possible. From now on when you read these sanitized stories about settlements, understand what that word really means. It’s a clever euphemism for a despicable policy, and it’s long past time to pull the plug on this bullshit.

More White House Lies

Knowing how much the wingers love to hate Jimmy Carter, and knowing that Condi Rice lies like other people breathe, it comes as no surprise to learn that the current 'outrage' over Carter's discussions with Hamas is completely fabricated.

Supposedly the State Department told Carter not to speak to Hamas, and supposedly he disregarded this warning. Some news accounts say he 'defied' the warnings. And supposedly Hamas showed it's 'true colors' on Saturday when 13 Israeli soldiers were slightly wounded at a Gaza border crossing.

The State Department has said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, issued the warning before Carter, a veteran of Middle East diplomacy, went on his trip last week.

Rice said in Kuwait on Tuesday: "We counseled President Carter against going to the region and particularly against having contact with Hamas."

That's so funny because Carter says the complete opposite. So somebody must be lying. Let's see...which party must be lying?

"No one in the State Department or any other department of the U.S. government ever asked him (Carter) to refrain from his recent visit to the Middle East or even suggested that he not meet with Syrian President (Bashar) Assad or leaders of Hamas," it said.

It said Carter attempted to call Rice before making the trip and a deputy returned his call since Rice was in Europe.

"They had a very pleasant discussion for about 15 minutes, during which he never made any of the negative or cautionary comments described above. He never talked to anyone else," the statement said.

Carter had already on Monday, in an interview with National Public Radio, described as "absolutely false" any suggestion he had been warned not to meet Hamas.

"The United States is not going to deal with Hamas and we certainly told President Carter that we did not think that meeting with Hamas was going to help the Palestinians," Rice said Tuesday while attending a conference in Kuwait.

The White House backed Rice and said events after Carter's meeting showed Hamas' true character.

Carter "is a private citizen and he made a decision to not comply with what the State Department asked him to do," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters on Wednesday.

Perino made an apparent reference to an attack on Saturday in which a Palestinian suicide bomber and two other gunmen were killed when they attacked a border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel, wounding 13 Israeli soldiers.

"Actions speak louder than words," said Perino of Hamas.

I love that lying little tart Dana Perino, official spokesliar for the lyingest government on earth, curtly admonishing people that actions speak louder than words. Why yes, Dana. Yes they do. Thanks for pointing that out.

As for the 'true colors' comment, give me a break. The people in Gaza are dying. Their children are starving, they have no fuel, their ambulances can't travel, their hospitals can't treat people, and the IDF kills them indiscriminately. The Palestinians in Gaza live in a filthy cage under constant threat of violence, and they're trying to break the cage before they all die of starvation and illness or are killed by the IDF. Can you blame them? Who is really showing their true colors, the people forced to live inside the cage, or the people who put them there?


The Proper Use of Video and Marketing Skills

The Last to Know

Like a baby bird breaking out of its shell, reality has begun to peck its way through the brittle veneer of corporate news. The Wall Street Journal informs its readers: Load Up the Pantry.

Reality: Food prices are already rising here much faster than the returns you are likely to get from keeping your money in a bank or money-market fund. And there are very good reasons to believe prices on the shelves are about to start rising a lot faster.

“Load up the pantry,” says Manu Daftary, one of Wall Street’s top investors and the manager of the Quaker Strategic Growth mutual fund. “I think prices are going higher. People are too complacent. They think it isn’t going to happen here. But I don’t know how the food companies can absorb higher costs.”

Very interesting. “People are too complacent. They think it isn’t going to happen here.” Hmm. How could that have possibly happened? Perhaps because the corporate media has spent billions and billions of dollars distracting people and dumbing them down, filling their heads with all sorts of nonsense and encouraging them to buy more and more stuff they didn’t actually need? Not too long ago I heard some whack jobs on Fox News telling people to use Bush’s forthcoming check to buy new shoes and flat-screen tvs. That’s the kind of advice you can expect from Fox News — advice that will totally screw you and your family.

Well, it’s kind of them at the WSJ to tip off the folks that they should buy some extra pasta and beans. That’s a good tip. Of course, those of us who follow alternative news have known to stock up the pantry for quite some time now, and we stocked up our pantries before the food prices rose. But all the same, it’s good to see the big guys are catching on.


Total Disconnect from Reality

Here is a prime example of why I don’t waste my time paying attention to the presidential race. Watch this video of very important media personalities asking Clinton and Obama what they would do if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons.

Notice that this entire kabuki display studiously avoids the Following Conspiracy Facts: Iran does not have nuclear weapons, but Israel does. Iran has not attacked another country in centuries, but Israel has attacked other countries repeatedly and as recently as last year.

The question that needs to be asked but of course will be avoided at all costs is this: What will you do as President if Israel attacks Iran with a nuclear weapon? Because if the stated response, obliteration, applies to Iran using nuclear weapons that don’t exist, what should the stated response be to Israel using nuclear weapons that do exist? That question is at least based in reality. Therefore, it won’t ever be asked. This entire ‘discussion’ is a pointless waste of time.

We already know that Bush promised Israel that we will immediately come to their defense with our blood and treasure should anything happen, giving the Israelis a free hand to conduct their false flag attacks against their neighbors. More than that, Bush and Netanyahu agree that a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran is justified as the only way to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons. These remarks came in January 2008:

US President George W. Bush promised Israel’s opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu that the United States will join the Jewish state in a nuclear strike against Iran, Israel Radio reported today.

Former Prime Minister Netanyahu, opposition Likud party’s hardline chairman who opposes the US-backed Annapolis peace process, reiterated to President Bush his stance, that a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran’s nuclear installations was the only way to stop the Islamic nation’s nuclear weapons ambitions.

“I told him my position and Bush agreed,” Netanyahu told Israel Radio.

So here we have up top this dire, fake discussion with people who are merely presidential hopefuls about how horrible and stupid it would be for Iran to attack Israel with nuclear weapons, and how that would necessarily justify obliterating Iran. Meanwhile, our actual president, the despicable George W. Bush, makes actual agreements with Netanyahu, aired over the public airwaves in Israel, in which they agree that it’s necessary to pre-emptively strike Iran with nuclear weapons that Israel and the US actually possess, and nobody asks him about it.

I think the American people are brain-dead.


Taking One for the Team

Today I want to focus on Jews in Israel who oppose the Occupation and work to end it. A clearer eye you probably can't find.
I could not stand aside. Sensing that the forcible removal of the family’s possessions (or most of them) was about to cease and the demolition begin, I seized the moment and rushed into the home, planting myself in a corner of what had been the kitchen before the surprised Border Police could react. The head of the police unit rushed up to me sitting on the floor and ordered me to leave.

My conscience as an Israeli, a Jew and a human being forbids me to permit this illegal and immoral act of demolition from taking place, I told him. In fact, I informed him, I am placing you under citizen’s arrest for violating the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 53), which prohibits the demolishing of homes in occupied territories. I thereby asked the accompanying policemen to arrest him. Sputtering, furious, he placed plastic handcuffs on me and had me forcibly thrown out of the house.
Just before this happened, one of the soldiers had made the most appalling comment - a comment which reveals in all it's ugliness the nature of the Occupation and the racist attitudes of those who support it.
Only one small but devastating incident distinguished the Hamdan demolition this past week from the normal routine. As Shaadi Hamdan and I were standing in front of the home, we were accosted by a slim, blond Border Policeman, probably of Russian origin.
“I was born to demolish Palestinian homes,” he informed us mockingly, a big smile on his face, a swagger in his movements.
“I love demolishing homes. I wake up in the morning hungry to demolish homes.”
With that he walked away. I can’t convey the mixture of anguish, anger, bewilderment and resignation that crossed Shaadi’s face at that moment. He simply stood aside as his home was demolished for the second time.
People like this soldier and the settlers who murdered this Palestinian teenager are simply full of hate. There's no other explanation for the sadistic pleasure they take in bringing suffering to other human beings who have not harmed them.

As Jeff Halper accurately states, nothing will change until those of us who are not currently threatened will have the courage to stand up and be counted.
Nothing, of course, happened to me, besides a few bruises. The Border Policeman “born to demolish” paraded around me repeating his delight at the day’s events, all of which ICAHD activists recorded on film. But we Israeli Jews enjoy a privileged position. We know the police or soldiers will not shoot us, will not beat us, will not detain us for long, and so we exploit that privilege in ways that Palestinians can’t. Shaadi would have been shot for doing what I did. We also know another sad fact: that unless an Israeli like me performs such a dramatic act, no one will notice the demolitions that take place almost daily in Jerusalem, the West Bank and, yes, Gaza.
The news spread quickly throughout the world. I was interviewed that day, my hands still in handcuffs, by radio stations from South Africa to Norway. I tried, of course, to put my action in context, to stress that my experience paled next to the crime that had been perpetrated upon the Hamdan family by the Israeli authorities. But I knew the truth: only the arrest of an Israeli makes the news; Palestinian suffering, as their very claim for justice, is ignored. Still, resistance is necessary.
This man enjoys great moral clarity, and he uses that clarity to confront the evil of the Occupation. He puts it into words on the internet so that someone like me thousands of miles away can find it. It brings me hope, and I post it so that you, dear reader, might think to yourself, "Yes, maybe I can have a little more courage, too." Though the house was still demolished, now at least a few people know that others tried to stop it. That knowledge alone, even though it doesn't seem like much, is actually huge because it binds us with the invisible cords of love. We are on the same team - the human team.

I will leave you with words from the last page of People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck.
I cannot be any more specific about the methodology of love than to quote these words of an old priest who spent many years in the battle: "There are dozens of ways to deal with evil and several ways to conquer it. All of them are facets of the truth that the only ultimate way to conquer evil is to let it be smothered within a willing, living human being. When it is absorbed there like blood in a sponge or a spear into one's heart, it loses its power and goes no further."
Will you take one for the team?


Who does she work for?

Condi Rice proves once again her utter uselessness to the American people who pay her salary.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday she has no plans to meet Iran’s foreign minister at a conference of Iraq’s neighbors next week, amid increasing U.S. complaints about Iranian support for Iraqi insurgents.

Rice renewed U.S. calls for Iran to end its backing for Shia militias and said she would repeat that message at the neighbors’ meeting in Kuwait. But she said she would not press the point directly with her Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki, who is also expected to attend Tuesday’s conference.

“I don’t intend to meet the Iranians, that is not in the plan,” Rice told reporters in Washington. “The Iranians will be at the meeting … but, no, I don’t have any plans to meet them.”

No, no of course not. Because why would the US Secretary of State meet with her counterpart in Iran, a country deeply involved in Iraq and supposedly threatening western civilization? That would be silly. Talking to that loser could like, tewtally wreck the plans for WW III.


Killed for Paying Attention

Yesterday the IDF murdered some people in Gaza. One of them was a journalist who happened to be holding his camera when an Israeli tank blew him away. Another person nearby filmed the rest. You can watch the video here.

These people killed posed no threat whatsoever to the tank parked far off in the distance. The IDF soldiers simply murdered them for no good reason. It’s inexplicable by any rational standards. How many Palestinians have been killed for no good reason?

In addition, the tank round used exploded with flechettes, or little darts, which fly out from the shell and into anyone nearby.

A medical examination showed on Thursday that metal darts from an Israeli tank shell that explodes in the air caused the death of a Reuters cameraman killed a day earlier in the Gaza Strip, doctors said.

X-rays displayed by physicians who examined the body of Fadel Shana in Gaza’s Shifa hospital showed several of the controversial weapons, known as flechettes, embedded in the 23-year-old Palestinian’s chest and legs.

Several of the 3 cm (1 inch)-long darts were also found in Shana’s flak jacket, emblazoned with a fluorescent “Press” sign, and in his vehicle, an unarmoured sport utility vehicle bearing “TV” and “Press” markings.

Back in 2001 there was some controversy in the IDF over whether or not to use these barbaric little darts. Some officers felt their use would cause an international backlash against Israel.

Although the IDF spokesman refused to comment on operational matters, other IDF sources told JDW that commanders are under orders to use the round sparingly and insist it has been employed on only a “handful” of occasions in Gaza. They said the round is used against targets such as mortar crews who cannot be engaged effectively by automatic fire.

“The Israeli military obtained these weapons from the USA after the 1973 war and we have thousands of old shells in warehouses,” said an Israeli defence source. “The weapon is not regarded as reliable or effective and gunners have a difficult time in aiming this properly.”

Hmm. It looks like any strict standards governing their use back in 2001 have clearly been relaxed, and the gunner in this case did not seem to have any trouble aiming the weapon. Nor do I hear any international backlash. You can see more pictures here.

Abu Mizyed said he and Shana were following ambulances that left the scene of an Israeli air strike, when the cameramen pulled over to take some wide shots of the area. An Israeli tank, Abu Mizyed said, was about a kilometre (half-mile) away.

“Fadel put his camera on a tripod and filmed for several minutes,” Abu Mizyed said.

Disturbed by a group of children, Shana asked Abu Mizyed to move them away. As he did so, Abu Mizyed heard an explosion behind him. Turning around, he saw Shana and two children — who also died — lying in pools of blood.

What were they doing wrong? Looking? Using their eyes? Being in Gaza? Does their very existence threaten the IDF? What other conclusion can one possibly draw?

On top of it all, the comments by Reuters’ editor-in-chief, David Schlesinger, strike me as completely inadequate.

“The evidence from the medical examination underlines the importance of a swift, honest and impartial investigation by the Israel Defense Forces and by the government,” said David Schlesinger, editor-in-chief of Reuters News.

“The markings on Fadel Shana’s vehicle showed clearly and unambiguously that he was a professional journalist doing his duty. We and the military must work together urgently to understand why this tragedy took place and how similar incidents can be avoided in the future,” Schlesinger added.

He made some other remarks about how journalists should be able to do their jobs without fearing for their lives. That’s all well and good, but there’s no mention of all the other people killed in Gaza every day by the IDF. When a journalist dies, people notice, but why don’t people notice when innocent civilians die? This strike killed several people and was a blatant murder, caught on film. Is this all Schlesinger can muster when one of his employees and some nearby kids get pierced to death by darts?

Not that I’m surprised, but it still bears pointing out because I’m sick and tired of people shrugging off all sorts of barbaric behavior. Where’s the outrage? Where’s the accountability? This has been going on for a long time, so what good is a measured demand for a ’swift, honest and impartial investigation’? Has anything like that ever been forthcoming in all these years? No. The IDF will blow this off just like they surely blow off any complaints about people getting killed in the occupied territories. They don’t care. These soldiers have been given carte blanche to do whatever they want. Maybe the guy in the tank woke up on the wrong side of bed, so he decided to kill some people yesterday. He knows there will be no negative consequences for him, so what’s to stop him? Apparently nothing.

Every person killed is somebody’s son or daughter, brother or sister, mother or father.

The US as Doormat

Apparently there’s no end to how much we owe Israel. Now we will pay for their unequivocal support in the ill-advised Iraq War, a war that has bankrupt the United States both morally and financially.

The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.

The Prime Minister’s Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a “bonus” the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the official telegram.

The new pipeline would take oil from the Kirkuk area, where some 40 percent of Iraqi oil is produced, and transport it via Mosul, and then across Jordan to Israel. The U.S. telegram included a request for a cost estimate for repairing the Mosul-Haifa pipeline that was in use prior to 1948. During the War of Independence, the Iraqis stopped the flow of oil to Haifa and the pipeline fell into disrepair over the years.

Let’s review. The neocons, a bunch of people with dual Israeli-US citizenship at the highest levels of our government, got us into this disastrous war with Iraq. Now the Israeli Prime Minister’s office has asked us to send an ‘official telegram’ asking them (Israel) to check up on the possibility of us sending Iraq’s oil to Haifa as a thank you bonus prize for unequivocally supporting the war undertaken on their behalf. And the Pentagon did it! And by the way, guess who will pay to rebuild the pipeline that has fallen into disrepair? The United States will pay, at $400K per kilometer.


The Haughty Condi Rice is a Liar

Just in case there are still people around who think this woman has any credibility or character, this video should put that delusion to rest. She has lied in our faces about more things, and so many people have died because of her lies. She belongs in prison along with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest. What a pack of murderous thieves. Condi Rice particularly bothers me since so many have considered her someone special, someone acquainted with the downtrodden (at least theoretically), and so they have put more hope in her. Therefore she has abused people’s trust more than the old white men ever could, and that’s a pretty amazing feat.

The Power of One Person

Just when you think nothing you do could possibly matter anymore, some one person reaches out and reminds you not to give up.
"While leaving Iraq before the war, our convoy broke down on the desert highway. We got out and Marla suddenly darted across the camera lens, while a voice in the background says "bye bye." Moments later Marla was just a dot running into the desert, the last shot I have of her. Marla dodged the camera. Yet, in this glimpse she reveals herself, utterly and completely - her passion, her intelligence, her tenderness, and her bold love. The facts of Marla's life have spread across the media, but the mystery of who Marla was seems more accurately conveyed by something more than fact or word. By chance, or fate the song "Lost Unto this World," by Emmylou Harris, sing the details of Marla's story - "I was murdered by the highway, and my cries went out in vain." It also asks us, "O you among the living, will you remember me at all?" Marla Ruzicka gave her life to a question "How many Iraqi's died? Her story should capture the imagination of this country and penetrate the halls of power with a simple question, "How many?" Marla should be remembered with an answer. The piece closes with the sun through the clouds of the Iraqi/Jordanian border, credited "to Marla." For in Marla's lifetime, I did not give her the credit she was due. Please visit Marla's Website: CivicWorldwide.org"
Go here and watch the video. This was an American woman who cared.

Quote of the Week

“We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq…[and these events] swung American public opinion in our favor.” - Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to an audience at Bar Ilan University on 4/16/08. Via Haaretz.

And that, my friends, is a Conspiracy Fact. What comes at a grave cost to the United States and the rest of the world benefits Israel. Netanyahu admits it without fanfare. It’s simply a fact, and a pretty obvious one at that if you have eyes to see.

Look again at the list of people with dual Israeli-US citizenship ensconced in positions at the top of our government and ask yourself, why is our government being run by Israeli Citizens? And why do supposedly powerful American Citizens in Washington profess undying loyalty to Israel? At what cost do we continue on this path of subverting our own national interest to the State of Israel?


What if?

What if the Zionists want to wait until after the big birthday party to pick a fight with Iran? That gets us to May.

What if they want to wait until the Summer Olympics to start the war? That gets us to August.
If you have read any of my previous essays, you already know that I believe we are headed to war this summer during the Beijing Olympics. Between now and August Israel will invade Lebanon. It is currently training for a wider war that could involve Syria. As I have said elsewhere, the real fun of World War III begins when Israel attacks Iran using American supplied nuclear bunker buster bombs. Iran has said they will respond by launching 11,000 missiles and artillery shells against Israel and the United States forces in the Mideast in the first 60 seconds. We have 17,500 sailors and marines in the Persian Gulf whose ships will be sunk by Iran's Russian made Yakhonts and Sunburn anti-ship missiles which have ranges of 180 and 120 miles respectively. They also have rocket artillery with ranges up to 150 kilometers. Iran also has 1,000 fast rubber boats and thousands of suicide volunteers to capture our surviving sailors and marines after their ships are sunk.

Iran also controls the militias in southern Iraq and much of the Iraqi police force and military. They would be in an excellent position to cut off supplies entering Iraq from Kuwait. Of course they would also cut off all oil flowing out of the Persian Gulf and military supplies flowing in. Oil could easily hit $300 to $400. Our friends in China and Japan, could pay cash for several years in advance with the more than 2 trillion surplus dollars they are currently unable to spend. On the other hand America's balance of trade deficit could balloon by several hundred billion dollars to more than a trillion dollars a year. The dollar would become worthless. Our pensions and our pay checks wouldn't be able yo buy anything. Unemployment could easily reach the Great Depression levels of 25%.
What if the economy totally collapses first?
The Bush administration has decided to pursue a strategy that is unprecedented in US history. It has decided to continue to prosecute a war that has already been lost morally, strategically, and militarily. But fighting a losing war has its costs. America is much weaker now than it was when Bush first took office in 2000; politically, economically and militarily. US power and prestige around the world will continue to deteriorate until the troops are withdrawn from Iraq. But that's unlikely to happen until all other options have been exhausted. Deteriorating economic conditions in the financial markets are putting enormous downward pressure on the dollar. The corporate bond and equities markets are in disarray; the banking system is collapsing, consumer spending is down, tax revenues are falling, and the country is headed into a painful and protracted recession. The US will leave Iraq sooner than many pundits believe, but it will not be at a time of our choosing. Rather, the conflict will end when the United States no longer has the capacity to wage war. That time is not far off.
Theoretically, our own economic demise would end the Iraq Occupation and prevent the US from jumping into another elective war with Iran. At the same time, a war with Iran would cause our economic demise. So this puts a moral person in the twisted position of hoping that our economic system collapses before our insane leaders have the chance to start another war that would kill many innocent people along with our own soldiers.

It's important to note that if our leaders didn't constantly talk about and threaten war, and didn't continually display utter disregard for other people's lives, one might in good conscience hope for something less than economic collapse. But as you know, you go to war with the Army leaders you have. They're not the Army leaders you might want or wish to have at a later time.

Representative Press


Words begin to fail

Nobody seems too troubled that the White House admitted that they sat around discussing in gory detail which prisoners would get tortured, and how much torture, and which type. Right in the White House they discussed it...Dick and Condi and Don. Bush knew, and he approved.

And they tortured these people to get information about Osama bin Laden and 9/11, information they knew the tortured victims did not possess.

Are we in the ninth circle of hell, or what? Well maybe not yet. There's lower still to go. Chris Floyd can at least express the horror for those of us who experience it. God knows it's getting harder by the day to find the words...
The President of the United States has openly, proudly admitted that he approved the use of interrogation methods that are by every measure -- including the measure of United States law -- criminal acts of torture. It is one of the most brazen and scandalous confessions of wrongdoing ever uttered by an American leader -- and it has had no impact whatsoever. No scandal, no outcry, no protest, no prosecution.

This pattern has recurred over and over throughout the Bush Administration. Bush and his minions commit crimes and atrocities in secret; they move heaven and earth to conceal their filthy deeds; they squirm and squeal like panicked rats when their some small portion of their evil comes to light; they belch forth a relentless series of self-contradictory lies to cover up, obfuscate or explain away the crimes; and when at last their malefactions can no longer be denied, they trot out the president himself to say: "Yeah, we did it; so what?" And then....nothing happens.

...But ultimately, on the ground, it will not change a thing. The sharpest truth, shouted like a trumpet blast, will not wake the sleepwalkers now. Nothing has pierced the shadows and fog so far, nothing has roused their moral sense, their legal sense, their political sense; nothing has stirred them to take action against the torture, the secret prisons, the concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, the ludicrous farce and deadly tyranny of the "Unitary Executive" cult -- and the never-ending act of mass murder and rape that is the war in Iraq. Will they stir now to stop another war crime in Iran?

No, it's obvious now that we must drink this bitter cup to the dregs. The sleepwalkers have encompassed us all in their nightmare. And how terrible, how terrible will be the awakening.
Yes, it seems so.

They need help destroying the Constitution

You really have to have a certain kind of mindset, call it the Good German American, not to recoil in horror at our government encouraging neighbors to spy on each other and giving them instruction sets to make it easier:

The Neighborhood Network Watch announced today the start of a new community program, the Home Network Awareness Program (HNAP). HNAP is aimed at providing an easy way for people to get involved and to contribute to the efforts of the Neighborhood Network Watch as well as providing the group with valuable information on the states of networks that reside in the homes of our nation.

Participants in HNAP would collect sample network traffic from their own home networks as well as samples from networks within the vicinity. The Neighborhood Network Watch will be making a set of freely available instructions on how to capture network traffic, using the open source packet sniffer TCPDUMP, and how to log onto nearby wireless networks that maybe being operated by neighbors.

These samples of network traffic would then be sent to the Neighborhood Network Watch for analysis using the latest revision of the NNWKAA. The participants would then be sent back a rating for each network along with a rating for the area as a whole.

This allows the participants to not only find out how their own home network is being used but also valuable information about those around their home that may have large amounts of terrorist related traffic flowing over them. This also provides the Neighborhood Network Watch with the ability to see if there is potential terrorist cell activity in or around the participants homes.

The Neighborhood Network Watch will also be releasing a new public service announcement highlighting the goals of HNAP and a how to section on how to search for networks as well as how to capture network traffic.

You have got to be kidding me.

Danger Will Robinson!!! Your neighbors may have ‘large amounts of terrorist related traffic’ flowing over their networks!!! Here…quickly!! Take this instruction set and collect some samples!! Use your hazmat suit for God’s sake!! Send us the samples right away because we have very important analysis to conduct on your neighbors!! Phew, that was close. Thank you for helping protect the homeland. You’re a True Patriot. Keep up the good work.

Shaking head.

What are we doing?


Who's your daddy?

Do you know how many people in top government positions have dual US-Israeli citizenship? Here’s a quick sample. There are many, many more.

  • Michael Mukasey: Current US Attorney General
  • Michael Chertoff: Head of Homeland Security
  • Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Scooter Libby: Architects of the Iraq War
  • Ari Fleischer: Former White House Spokesman
  • David Frum: White House Speechwriter
  • John Bolton: Former UN Representative


Still confused?

To think that people wonder why the Jews and the Palestinians just can’t get along.

Note that these opinions are widely and enthusiastically supported in Israeli power circles.

Hopefully that clears things up a bit.


Isaiah warned the people. Jeremiah warned the people. Ezekiel, Hosea, John the Baptist…they all tried to tell people to smarten up.

Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, “We will not walk in it.” Also I raised up sentinels for you: “Give heed to the sound of the trumpet!” But they said, “We will not give heed.” Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them. Hear, O earth; I am going to bring disaster on this people, and fruit of their schemes, because they have not given heed to my words; and as for my teaching, they have rejected it. Jeremiah 6:16-19

But of course, people never do listen, do they? At least not enough of them. Everybody likes to think the warnings are for someone else, like their enemies. Surely not I, Lord. Right, Lord? Lord…are you there? Hellooo….??

We have prophets in our own time, and they go through the same head-banging experience of trying to wake people up. It’s a thankless fucking job. Les Vis wrote about it the other day, and Arthur Silber has been crying out in the wilderness for a long time, too. And I’ll vouch for what they’re saying because I go through it too, as do my friends in blogging, and frankly we’re all sick and tired of pushing rocks uphill. We are nobodies, and therefore, nobody listens to us.

The entire daily experience of reading the news, seeing what horrors happened while you slept and wondering what will transpire while you sit here trying to find a few words to post on your trusty little blog which will somehow, hope beyond hope, staunch the blood from gushing out of the many gaping wounds in the world…it’s just surreal. And I can’t help feeling that I stepped out of line to do this job because nobody important wants to do it, and yet it needs to be done. I can see that plain enough. It’s like I’m standing in front of a hospital, and I have no medical training, and bloodied people lie on the streets and lawns in front of me as far as the eye can see. But the highly trained doctors and nurses in the hospital don’t come outside to help us. They don’t bring the stretchers or the morphine or the tourniquets or anything. A few of them shout some instructions from a third story window. That’s about it. Otherwise, it’s too dangerous for them to come outside and help. Plus, they’re very busy inside doing breast implants and face lifts. So most of these people will die. I’ll do what I can, but I just don’t have the resources to save very many. I’d be thrilled to save even one soul.

That’s what Les Vis and Arthur Silber are talking about. This guy too. Where are the people who can help us? Why don’t they come out here and kneel on the bloody grass and tend to some of these victims? Some could still be saved, if only….if only people with the training and the equipment and the connections would get down here and do something. If only people cared less about their supposed safety and reputations and more about the truth.

I’ll be out here on the bloody grass waiting amid the dead and dying, where I belong, trying and failing to ease their suffering. I know that if the people inside don’t come out, the building will implode on them when they least expect it, and it will be over for them without warning, just like it was for the people in the twin towers. The people inside, protecting the establishment and profiting from it, will be sacrificed to serve the greater goals. The owners will collect an insurance payment, just like they did before. Whatever safety and protection these practitioners and patients think the building provides - that is an illusion. But they won’t listen. They never do, and I won’t miss them when they’re gone.

How can you say, “We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us,” when, in fact, the false pen of the scribes has made it into a lie? The wise shall be put to shame, they shall be dismayed and taken; since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what wisdom is in them? Jeremiah 8:8-9

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.


The Difference Between Judaism and Zionism

Judaism is a religion. Zionism is a political orientation. Not the same.

Alan Hart, the author of Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, has some words about the State Department’s recent study about anti-semitism.

The question is… How can the truth of history be told, and Israel be criticised, without provoking classical anti-Semitism? The short answer is that the context must explain the difference between Judaism and Zionism. As I never tire of writing and saying, knowledge of this difference is the key to understanding why it is perfectly possible to be passionately anti-Zionist (opposed to Zionism’s colonial enterprise) without being in any way shape or form anti-Semitic; and, also, why it is wrong to blame all Jews everywhere for the crimes of the hardest core Zionist few in Israel.

If citizens of all faiths and none in the nations of the mainly Gentile Judeo-Christian world were aware of the differencies between Judiasm and Zionism, and how Zionism has made a mockery of and has contempt for the moral values and ethical principles of Judaism, there would be no danger of the truth of history and criticism of Israel provoking anti-Semitism.

As it relates to those of us who, with our books and public speaking, are on the frontline of the war for the truth of history and are by definition anti-Zionist, the State Department’s assertion (emphasised above) that we attribute Israel’s “perceived faults” to it’s “Jewish character” is libellous nonsense. We say the very opposite - that Israel is a Zionist state, not a Jewish state.

The Courage to Look

I’m putting this link here, and it has many very difficult images to see and words to read. But I hope some of you will look. Because if we think it’s horrible merely to see photos and read about the suffering of people in the Middle East, imagine their lives. Imagine having to live with this day after day. Imagine having your bury your children or see them horribly disfigured for the rest of their lives.

The fact Americans need to grasp is this: our tax dollars make this suffering possible. Your money, that you work your ass off for, brings suffering and death to the Palestinians and the Lebanese. And it brings the same to Iraqis, and Afghanis, and Americans, too. We literally fund hell on earth. And our congresspeople know this, but they have not the courage to stop it. They will never find the courage to stop it until you, Citizen, find the courage to look at the pictures and demand that it be stopped. Because as soon as people in power go against the war machine, they get politically assassinated. So they don’t do it.

Innocent people with more courage than we can imagine depend on us simply having the courage to learn the truth. They know that as long as Americans believe the pack of lies constantly fed by the corporate media, innocent people will be trapped in hell on earth. So please do your part and let your heart be broken. When enough people in America wake up, the tide will turn.


THE Priority

THE biggest priority facing this country right now is preventing Bush from starting another war with Iran or anywhere else, but especially with Iran. We don’t know for sure how many horrible things would follow from it, but I’m positive we don’t want to find out, either.

Our economy teeters on the brink of destruction, and it’s going down. A new Middle East war will, at a minimum, seize the flow of oil and drive prices through the roof. Businesses will be going under left and right. That will finish off the economy and take many struggling families down in a matter of days. Everybody’s standard of living will experience a pronounced downgrade. Even for those lucky enough to keep their jobs, the cost of driving will be prohibitive. Travel soccer for little Jenny? Vacations planned for the summer? Flying across country to see the new grandchild? You can forget it all if Bush goes through with this insanity. I believe this would be the best case scenario, by the way. Certainly, many people have predicted much greater horrors including a collapsing food supply. All I can tell you is that having read alternative news for years, I have seen all sorts of gloomy predictions come true and have no reason to doubt them now.

So play that through in your mind for a minute, and imagine Americans freaking out on a wide scale. Now imagine George Bush, the decider, declaring martial law to restore order. This might not immediately strike you as a horrible thing. Many good, law abiding patriotic Americans revere our military and come to a complete stop at stop signs and will no doubt desperately want somebody to come in and take charge and put everything right again. Just like they did in New Orleans. But that’s a very romanticized conception of martial law. The reality would be quite different.

“Martial law” is a euphemism for military dictatorship. When foreign democracies are overthrown and a junta establishes martial law, Americans usually recognize that a fundamental change has occurred. Perhaps some conservatives believe that the only change when martial law is declared is that people are no longer read their Miranda rights before they are locked away. “Martial law” means: Obey soldiers’ commands or be shot. The abuses of military rule in Southern states during Reconstruction were legendary, but they have been swept under the historical rug.

If you think our own soldiers wouldn’t shoot American citizens and therefore martial law is still nothing to worry about, I’m sorry to disabuse you of that notion. I wrote about this a few months back, though the original source link has been removed (maybe they came under pressure for giving out too much information).

U.S. troops are being trained to conduct round-ups, confiscate guns and shoot American citizens, including their own friends and family members, as part of a long-standing program to prepare for the declaration of martial law, according to a soldier who recently returned from Iraq.

…Scott writes that his company hired a soldier who had recently returned from Iraq, who told him that U.S. troops were being quizzed on whether or not they would be prepared to shoot their own friends and family members during a national state of emergency in America.

Who knows how many soldiers might be affected. I think in general most soldiers are kept in the dark while a handful (Marines and special forces types) do the real dirty work under certain commanders. That specialization works great because many people can be deployed, come back and say (honestly) that they didn’t have to do anything horrible. This casts doubt on other stories, like this one above and on the Winter Soldier hearings. It feeds into the ‘bad apple’ belief — always a convenient excuse — though the compartmentalization may be completely deliberate and managed from the command structure. So, in addition to however many soldiers they can convince to shoot Americans, don’t forget those wannabeahero InfraGard mercenary types with their ’shoot to kill’ orders.

One business owner in the United States tells me that InfraGard members are being advised on how to prepare for a martial law situation—and what their role might be. He showed me his InfraGard card, with his name and e-mail address on the front, along with the InfraGard logo and its slogan, “Partnership for Protection.” On the back of the card were the emergency numbers that Schneck mentioned.

This business owner says he attended a small InfraGard meeting where agents of the FBI and Homeland Security discussed in astonishing detail what InfraGard members may be called upon to do.

“The meeting started off innocuously enough, with the speakers talking about corporate espionage,” he says. “From there, it just progressed. All of a sudden we were knee deep in what was expected of us when martial law is declared. We were expected to share all our resources, but in return we’d be given specific benefits.” These included, he says, the ability to travel in restricted areas and to get people out.

But that’s not all.

“Then they said when—not if—martial law is declared, it was our responsibility to protect our portion of the infrastructure, and if we had to use deadly force to protect it, we couldn’t be prosecuted,” he says.

Chilling. If you’ve never read this story, get thee over to that last link right away. And by all means, read this entire above referenced piece about martial law. I cannot emphasize enough how urgently people need to understand the stakes involved right this very minute. I have heard people talk about a strike on Iran as another ho hum event. No, no, no. I understand that people have been lulled into that sort of thinking, but you must look at these events in complete context. Our economy lies on its very deathbed. Iran represents the ultimate prize in the neocons’ PNAC document. Bush and Cheney have only months remaining in their term. Meanwhile, people are catching onto Israel’s real role in wrecking havoc and totally interfering with, or more accurately running US foreign policy.

It is high noon at the OK Corral. These people don’t have much time left, and they know it. Do not expect them to slink off quietly. They have shown time and time again utter disregard and contempt for anyone outside their circle of power. That means you, Proud American Citizen! They’ve outright murdered over a million people and caused the ruin of many millions more, both at home and abroad. Do not think for one split second that they operate in any moral paradigm that you might be familiar with. They simply do not.

If Americans are to have any future worth having, we must prevent a war with Iran.

Many Woes

Here’s a quick little survey of the economic landscape today.

Business Week tells us that the Fed is worried about a ‘prolonged and severe‘ economic downturn. Hey, thanks for the tip. Meanwhile, all that money we’re spending on fighting the illegal and immoral Iraq war will not be available to do things at home, like repair our infrastructure. From Robert Reich, a man Massachusetts voters foolishly rejected when he ran for governor:

More to the point – and here’s what Americans need to understand – a dollar spent in Iraq is a dollar we do not have to spend here, not only repairing our own bridges, roads, and water and sewage systems, but also giving Americans access to health insurance and children access to good schools, fully funding Social Security and Medicare, investing adequately in non-carbon based energy sources and green technologies, and borrowing less from abroad.

In other words, the real economic cost of the Iraqi War doesn’t show up in the business cycle, and it’s not responsible for the current recession. The real economic cost will show up years from now in a standard of living that for most Americans will be significantly lower than we might otherwise have enjoyed.

Speaking of infrastructure, did you know that our nation’s water pipes are rotting in the ground? The timing couldn’t be worse - with enormous costs to repair these pipes and water shortages making such waste doubly tragic.

The tunnel is leaking up to 36 million gallons a day as it carries drinking water from a reservoir to the big city. It is a powerful warning sign of a larger problem around the country: The infrastructure that delivers water to the nation’s cities is badly aging and in need of repairs.

The Environmental Protection Agency says utilities will need to invest more than $277 billion over the next two decades on repairs and improvements to drinking water systems. Water industry engineers put the figure drastically higher, at about $480 billion.

But wait, there’s more…

Railcars sit idle, bees are dying, truckers protest fuel costs. We are in deep doo doo. Whether they talk about it on World News Tonight or Good Morning America I don’t know, but I suppose not. However, take precautions for the situation to get much worse.


Let a private contractor do it.

The Secret Service prepares to provide Dick Cheney with six months additional protection at taxpayer expense. I kid you not.

The Secret Service is preparing to provide Vice President Cheney with agents, transportation, advance work and other security-related trappings of executive power for six months after the Bush administration packs up and moves out in January, the agency’s director, Mark Sullivan, told Congress last week. The expected cost: $4 million.

… Extending Cheney’s detail would require a directive from the president or a joint resolution of Congress.

“We believe that it’s a pretty safe bet with the threat environment we face today that Vice President Cheney will be afforded Secret Service protection upon his departure,” Sullivan told the House Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security last week.

Experts say such precautions make sense. The United States is at war abroad and faces the persistent threat of terrorism at home. Cheney, a principal architect of the administration’s foreign and national security policies, has been an unusually high-profile No. 2 — and would remain a target long after his term.

“The critical factor is we are at war,” said William H. Pickle, former Secret Service special agent in charge of the vice presidential division from 1998 to 2001, who said he was speaking based on experience and was not privy to current threat information. “We have an enemy who has sworn to destroy this country, and they have sworn to kill both the president and the vice president. So why in the world would we not protect him? It’s common sense. The government and this country owe the president and vice president, they owe them that safety.”

Where to begin?? The injustice of our broke country paying to protect the architect of our ruin? The fact that Pickle uses the manufactured enemy al Qaeda to justify the expense? The fact that this country owes anything to Bush and Cheney but a speedy trial and life in prison? Who are the ‘experts’ that say this makes sense?

I think if Mr. Cheney wants extra security next year, let him take some of the millions he stole from the American people and pay Blackwater to do it.

This is a no-brainer. Call your congress people and tell them under no circumstances do you want one more cent going to the preservation of Dick Cheney’s life.

Hey, he volunteered to be VP.


If John McCain will call his wife a ‘See You Next Tuesday’ at all, let alone in front of a bunch of other people, in response to some light teasing (which, by the way, he dishes out freely himself), then consider how much respect any other human being can expect to receive from him.


Chaos Ensued

You know what would be great? It would be really great if people in this country understood what a stupid idea it is to attack Iran. I mean, there are other adjectives I could use to describe such an attack, including immoral, unjustified, criminally insane, etc. But I’d like to emphasize that in addition to all those things, attacking Iran would be very, very stupid, speaking strictly from an American ethnocentric viewpoint.

According to Scott Ritter, there’s an 80% chance of war with Iran. Ritter is hardly the only person who thinks so, but since he’s been right about all sorts of important things and gives us a probability estimate, let’s stick with him.

Scott Ritter, former head of weapons inspection in Iraq who protested there were no weapons of mass destruction to justify an invasion, believes the same is true for Iran. But there is an 80 percent chance of war with Iran, he told about 200 people Wednesday at Middlebury College as part of a series of talks facilitated by the Vermont Peace and Justice Center. The pattern of preparations for such a conflict has been steadily developing and involves Congress as well as the Bush-Cheney administration, he said.

According to William H. White (and also, again, many others), a war with Iran would have many immediate and disastrous consequences, including economic ones.

Presumably, if there are policy level debates within the administration about the wisdom of attacking Iran, the central question before the National Security Council is likely to be whether the attacks on Iran will result in an ongoing war between the US and Iran as well as other likely global consequences, with the Cheney/Israel lobby neo-con faction pressing for an attack and suggesting few consequences, and the Gates/Rice/Paulson realist faction opposing attacks and predicting grave consequences. Because of the ongoing economic crisis, Secretary of Treasury Paulson is expected to play a more prominent role in the deliberations than he might otherwise, lending additional weight to serious consideration of at least some near-term consequences. We assume expected damage to the US and global economies, as well as a de facto world trade embargo against US goods, will likely become increasingly important compared to the concerns advanced by Cheney and the Israel Lobby, such as the dangers Iran presents to the US and Israel from its “support of terrorism” and “nuclear weapons ‘programs and knowledge’”.

OK. So thus far we have an 80% chance of war, and therefore an 80% chance of severe economic consequences. The kind of economic instability (collapsing dollar, gas costs through the roof, food disappearing off of shelves, etc.) we’re talking about could very easily lead to civil unrest. It could get ugly.

If only the death of innocent civilians in Iran or anywhere were enough to rouse us to care, but we’ve become a heartless nation. So that’s why I’m emphasizing that you, Citizen, yes YOU! Personally, will be negatively affected, and very quickly, if Bush decides to attack Iran. At a minimum such an attack would finish off our deathbed economy. Would you be upset if you had no gas to put in your car because it became so scarce and so expensive, and therefore you lost your job because you could no longer get to work, and you had no money to buy food, and anyway the grocery stores were empty because all our food is shipped from far off using trucks (return to gas problems), and your kids were hungry and cold and probably couldn’t even go to school? That could happen. You’d be angry.


That’s what martial law is for. I just hope people understand that. Attack on Iran = tremendous economic instability = civil unrest = martial law. Therefore, an attack on Iran can lead quite directly to martial law in the United States. George Bush, that thin-skinned mentally ill person living in the White House, is just the ‘man’ to take advantage of all this swell legislation:

Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies,” gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to “a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order.”

The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of “terrorist” organizations, or who speaks out against the government’s policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike. (Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg, “Rule by Fear or Rule by Law?” San Francisco Chronicle, February 4, 2008; Page B-7)

Do I exaggerate? Please click through that last link and read the whole thing. Bush and Cheney, with the help of fellow psychopaths like John Yoo, have been planning this for years. Do you really think they’re going to ride off quietly into the sunset without taking this plan out for a spin? I don’t. Look at the evidence. When have they ever held back, and why should they start now when they’re so close to clinching their ultimate goals of complete, megalomaniacal domination?

I just want people to understand that if these things take place, they can’t be undone easily. This will change our country forever.

Bonus reading: To understand how flimsy the case against Iran really is, read this.

legal mumbo jumbo

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