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Showing posts from April, 2008

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

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 possibili

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:,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

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

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 maki

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 eigh


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 agreeme

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 bec

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

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

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

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 wou

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

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 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 m

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 art

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 i

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 neighbor

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 thro

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

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 politic

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 peo

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 no

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


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 V