Chances for a change in the direction of US Middle East policy are extremely unlikely. The reason is the growing power of the Jewish Lobby in Congress, the massive Zionist propaganda campaign in all the mass media, Olmertâ€™s â€˜nose leadingâ€™ of Bush, and a host of related activities. The end result is that Congress will not withdraw or reduce US troops and war funding for the Iraq War. Bush, with the support of McCain and Clinton, Liebermann, Reid and Hoyer, will push for more troops in pursuit of an all-out blood bath in Baghdad. The Baker Iraq Study Group under siege from the Zioncons and Zionlibs will be unable to deal with Israeli violence against Palestinians or enter into a dialogue with Syria and Iran on any but the most narrow and unpromising terms.
Bakerâ€™s Iraq Study Group and the Lobbyâ€™s Preventive War
- â€œOlmert said Israel and other countries in the area should be thankful to the United States and Bush. He said the Iraq war had a dramatic positive effect on security and stability in the Middle East as well as strategic importance from Israelâ€™s perspective (my emphasis) and of moderate Arab states. Olmert said he was satisfied with the position Bush took on Iran which went further (my emphasis) than in their previous meeting in May. â€œIranâ€™s role in the conversation was quite clear, very serious and very significant and I left the meeting with an outstanding feeling,â€ said Olmert.â€
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently published an editorial that said of Bush: "His pronouncements now bear no resemblance to reality." Now? Oh, never mind.
Marc Sandalow, the Washington Bureau Chief for the San Francisco Chronicle, recently wrote: "There is mounting evidence that the world of public Bush-speak -- from his vigorous support for al-Maliki and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to his rejection of direct diplomacy with Syria and Iran -- bears little relation to what goes on behind the scenes." Mounting? Forget it.
Robert Fisk recently asked about George W. Bush: "How does he do it? How does he persuade himself - as he apparently did in Amman yesterday - that the United States will stay in Iraq 'until the job is complete'?" Persuade himself? I give up.
Frank Rich writes that Bush "is completely untethered from reality. It's not that he can't handle the truth about Iraq. He doesn't know what the truth is." He doesn't? Look at a couple of well-known Bush quotes again: "What's the difference? The possibility that [Saddam] could acquire weapons, if he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger." (Bush on why he lied about weapons of mass destruction.) "I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign. And so the only way to answer that question and to get you on to another question was to give you that answer." (Bush on why he lied about keeping Rumsfeld on.)
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by Mickey Z.
There are many battles being fought in the name of social justice...some more pitched than others. In general, however, these struggles do not result in victory thanks to a petition, a candlelight vigil, or a ballot pull. In other words, those seeking peace, justice, and solidarity should never underestimate the relentless and brutal power of what they are up against. I am reminded of this every time I re-read "Bridge of Courage: Life Stories of the Guatemalan CompaÃ±eros and CompaÃ±eras," (Common Courage Press, 1995) an amazing book by Jennifer Harbury.
Guatemala (a nation perched on the border of Chiapas, Mexico) is an easy place to overlook. Therefore, if we were to trust the corporate media, our knowledge would be limited to ill-informed, racist diatribes like this from Clifford Krauss of The New York Times (April 9, 1995): "Guatemala required neither Karl Marx nor the Central Intelligence Agency to be consumed by class and ethnic war, and ... The Guatemalan army, currently in the news because some of its officers received secret CIA payments, is essentially finishing the job that the conquistadors started. The cross and the sword may have been replaced by modern counterinsurgency tactics, but the essential driving forces of Guatemalan history remain the same ... the fact remains that Guatemalans do not need prompting to kill one another."
Krauss went on to tell of chickens "sacrificed...to...pre-Columbian gods" and "bizarre" religious cults (Krauss' tactics are indeed for those seeking to absolve the U.S. from any culpability in the wanton destruction of a people). While admitting CIA complicity in the 1954 coup that saw the end of Jacobo Arbenz, Krauss is quick to remind us "modern Guatemalan political history began not with the coup of 1954."
Iran, an op-ed in the The New York Times reported yesterday, began operation of a group of uranium enrichment centrifuges, thus
violating a legally binding demand by the United Nations Security Council that Iran suspend such activities until the international community is confident that the countryâ€™s nuclear program â€œis for exclusively peaceful purposes.â€ Iranâ€™s response was that a suspension would abrogate its rights under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty â€“ even though under international law, it has temporarily surrendered these rights by violating the obligations that condition them.
the â€œobligationsâ€ in question are compliance with the Security Council
resolution calling on it to suspend uranium enrichment activities.
Complying with the resolution is a â€œconditionâ€ of the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT Treaty), according to the Times.
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By Ragnar Redbeard III
â€œWhat kind of a society isn't structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that system.â€
What kind indeed? Certainly not a prodigious society such as ours. Thanks to Capitalism, the United States is replete with opulence, might, and benevolence.
Guided by the brilliant foresight of Hamilton, manacled by men like Keynes, Galbraith, and FDR, and ultimately granted a refreshing degree of freedom by the heroic intellectual efforts of Rand and Friedman, Adam Smithâ€™s â€œinvisible handâ€ has wrought a citadel for those wishing to pursue healthy greed, self-interest, and enlightened oppression. While Capitalism in the United States is still afflicted with the diseases of a mixed economy, government regulation and socialistic tendencies, Americaâ€™s socioeconomic system is far superior to any rival, past or present.
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By Paul William Roberts
On Saturday, December 02, the Washington Post wrote:
â€œThe emerging plan by the Iraq Study Group tries to find a middle road between President Bush's adamant refusal to leave Iraq until the job is done and Democratic demands to pull out U.S. troops. But in achieving unanimity among its Republican and Democratic members, the commission has outlined a strategy with its own political and military risks.â€
The reason this road is less traveled is that it just doesnâ€™t exist.
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One expected more from James Baker and his expensive commission, but perhaps we will yet have cause to thank him. For the uselessness of the ISG underscores a deeper uselessness in American politics generally when it comes foreign policies in which the public (read â€œthe mediaâ€) have developed a level of interest that already has, and will continue to cost votes. In managing to arrive at a â€œplanâ€ upon which all its members could agree, the ISG has merely wasted paper â€“ not to mention taxpayersâ€™ money (a commodity more disposable than toilet paper in Washington). Like so much the long-suffering taxpayer finds himself and herself funding these days, this bi-partisan circle jerk can satisfy only the overpaid and bloated egos participating in the couple of long lunches that were surely all it took to assess the facts and then devise a course of action ignoring them. To the cash whores and corporate crooks whose fingers are always in the till and whose snouts rarely leave the Beltway trough, of course, this latest wasteful disgrace is just another drop of fecal matter in a septic tank the size of the Pacific Ocean.
Normally I ignore religious controversy, but the latest flap surrounding incoming Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, a muslim who intends to take the oath of office with his hand on the Quran, demands comment. If you're not muslim then mind your own business. Here's the bottomline--the Christians who are in an uproar over Ellison's plan and who insist that the oath can only be taken with the Bible probably ought to read the damn Bible. Why? Because the Bible, specifically the New Testament, contains clear instruction about taking oaths. According to James 5:12 (Whole Chapter):
But above all, [James 1:16] my brethren, [Matt 5:34-37] do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.Add a comment
National Action Party (PAN) candidate Felipe Calderon had center stage at 12:01 AM, December 1 at the presidential residence of Los Pinos as Mexico's new president addressed the country on national television after a brief stealth swearing-in ceremony for him to the office he didn't win and will now assume illegitimately because of the fraud-laden electoral coup d'etat that gave it to him. He then had to be slipped in a back door of the Congress later that morning to take the oath of office there, as constitutionally required, in a second "lightning-fast" chaotic ceremony preceded by a brawl between lawmakers for and against the new president who then left as fast as he entered and is now off to a rocky start.
At the same time, outside in Mexico City's streets, hundreds of thousands of people assembled early in the morning in the vast Zocalo square supporting opposition Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who changed his earlier plans to march on Congress and instead held a peaceful mass-protest march of his supporters through the city center to avoid clashes with the police that might have turned violent. It went as far as Chapultepec Park, the entrance to the secured area, to demonstrate opposition to Mr. Calderon and to support Lopez Obrador who was denied the presidency he won now handed over illegitimately to Mr. Calderon. Obrador told the crowd his fight will continue because "it is not possible that there are no democratic elections in Mexico. We are not rebels without a cause, like the media want to portray us. Sometimes they forget the real issue at hand, they forget that we were robbed of the presidential election."
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Other than 2002 Nobel Prize Laureate, Jimmy Carter, no American politician has spoken honestly about Israel's occupation of Palestine. No American politician has addressed Israel's mistreatment of the Palestinians. Not because the mistreatment doesn't exist. But because acknowledging it brings accusations of anti-semitism and the potential to lose an election.
To date, Jimmy Carter is the most high-profile American to publicly denounce the horrors of the Israeli occupation. Not in a sound byte or a simple aside. But in a full length book, provocatively titled, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid."
In his book, President Carter provides a detailed analysis of Israel's confiscation of Palestinian land and ongoing demoralization of the Palestinian people within their own homeland. President Carter bravely defies the American taboo of never criticizing Israel, recognizing that humanitarianism dwarfs political correctness.
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by Dave Lindorff
I had just gotten to the gym yesterday, and had started on the treadmill, when a barrel-chested young former marine recently returned from a second tour in Iraq walked past. Looking at my shirt, which sports the slogan "No US War on Iraq" on the front, and a peace sign on the back, surrounded with the number of U.S. dead in the war, he stopped and said coldly, "If I see you here again in that shirt, I'll tear it off you myself."
Momentarily taken aback, I looked him in the eye and said, "This is a free country, buddy, and if you touch me or my shirt, I'll have you charged with assault."
â€œYouâ€™ll find a day when there are no Sunnis left in Baghdad. Saudi Arabia and Jordan are panicking about this, and they are hoping that the US will in some way arm or support Sunnis militias. Itâ€™s hard for me to imagine that Sunni nations in the region will stand by and watch Sunnis pushed out of Baghdad, because there is this terror of the Shia threat. So youâ€™ll see greater support from Saudi Arabia, from Jordan, perhaps from Yemen, from Egypt for Sunni militias. And the civil war will spread and become a regional one.â€ Nir Rosen; interview with Amy Goodman, Democracy Now
President Bushâ€™s latest round of â€œDisaster Diplomacyâ€ has turned into a tragedy worthy of Eugene Oâ€™ Neill. In Riga, Latvia he was coolly greeted by foreign leaders in NATO who flatly rejected his request for more troops in Afghanistan or for redeploying troops to the south where the fighting is fiercest.
The next leg of Bushâ€™s trip, a stopover in Amman, Jordan, turned out to be an even bigger flop. Bush was supposed to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, but Al-Maliki decided to follow the orders of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, and pulled a â€œno showâ€. This left the â€œmost powerful man in the worldâ€, the President of the United States, looking like a schoolgirl who had been dumped on Prom Night. Bush's humiliation appeared as headline news around the world.
All in all, itâ€™s been a tough week for Bush. The trip has exposed the fault-lines in US foreign policy and the steady erosion American power. Bush seems completely oblivious to the damage heâ€™s doing to the country by refusing to change the present strategy and by blundering-ahead blindly pushing us deeper and deeper into the quagmire:
â€œIâ€™m not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete,â€ Bush growled to the NATO assembly.
Translation: â€œStay the course, stay the course, stay the courseâ€; repeat into infinity.
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