Archive for August, 2006

Bush Administration treason, your tax dollars at work

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

The U.S. military is worn out and demoralized. The Global War on Terror has outlasted the Second World War, with no end in sight. Americans are tired of the Iraq War and doubt this government is winning it. Is it time for the government to change course? No, it’s time to fire up the propaganda factories.

Bush is out stumping for the War on Terror, but not, he says, because his party’s approval ratings are in the gutter with slightly more than two months until the elections. No, he wants to refocus our attention on the overall objective, and get our attention away from his Iraq fiasco. As usual, the Republicans are lying for the greater good, which means keeping their party in power for two more years. Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman recently said, “A lot of the people who say we need to withdraw from Iraq say we’ll be safer, and I don’t think that’s accurate.” Mehlman is right, that isn’t accurate. “A lot of people” means “Democrats,” but what’s inaccurate is his claim that we are saying withdrawal from Iraq will make us safer.

This horse has been whipped enough, but the ruling party won’t relent. The stated objective in Iraq this week is to stay long enough for the puppet regime we installed to magically gain legitimacy and take control. That’s a nice sentiment, but how exactly will we do it? Anyone who thinks Sunnis will stop resenting Shiite majority control of the government, or that Shiites will ever again allow themselves to be ruled by Sunnis, or that the Kurds want anything less than an autonomous region, if not an independent state, has no business making U.S. government policy. Iran may yet form an alliance with the Shiite majority. Iraq may yet turn into something we never intended. When you screw up to the extent that Cheney, Rumsfeld and Gen. Tommy Franks did, things usually go horribly wrong.

Terrorist manipulation of American media

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

U.N. General Secretary General Kofi Annan visited Israel and Palestine Wednesday. It was interesting to study how the major papers in Jerusalem and Washington covered his visit. Early reports in the English-language Jerusalem papers Ha’aretz and the Jerusalem Post quoted Annan as stating an independent Palestinian state was a prerequisite for peace. Both papers have since dropped the story, but there is still an active United Press article with the quote:

Speaking at a press conference following talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Wednesday, Annan said an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and the creation of an independent Palestinian state adjacent to Israel “are the key to a solution in the Middle East region.”

A few hours after the two Jerusalem papers published the story, the Washington Post was covering it in a very different way. That article, titled “Olmert Refuses to Lift Lebanon Blockade,” makes no mention whatsoever of Annan’s call for a Palestinian state. All the Post deigned to print about Annan’s visit to Palestine is these two paragraphs:

After morning meetings in Jerusalem, Annan traveled to the West Bank city of Ramallah to meet with Palestinian leaders as violence in the Gaza Strip mounted. Israeli forces are continuing a military operation in Gaza that began after Palestinian gunmen, including members of the governing Hamas movement’s military wing, captured an Israeli soldier in a June 25 cross-border raid.

Palestinian health officials said eight Palestinians, most of them armed, were killed in a morning missile strike and later gun battles in the Shijaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City. At least 14 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza during the past two days, most of them members of armed factions.

The Post‘s article perfectly reflects official U.S. government policy. No mention is made of why Palestinian “gunmen” attacked an Israeli tank and seized an IDF soldier. When Israeli “gunmen” firing tank artillery rounds on Palestinian homes are seized, they are “captured.” But when Israel kicks down Palestinians’ doors and seizes politician, they are “arrested.”

Worse, the subject of Palestinian statehood is not even noted, because it is counter to American-Israeli ambitions. This is undemocratic, for two reasons: The Palestinians are not given a fair hearing; and Americans are not allowed to consider the issue in its entirety. There are approximately 300 million Americans, and we give Israel $3 billion a year in aid. This gift, for it is not a loan, amounts to $1000 each for every American man, woman and child. For that I thnk we deserve to know the whole truth.

The real fascists are speaking up

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Judging by Bush regime propaganda lately, the Nazis were never defeated. They only stepped into the background, to be resurrected at this moment of our nation’s need. British appeasement of Hitler at Munich in 1933 is dragged out and dusted off to suit every occasion. Churchill is quoted as often as any living political leader. According to Donald Rumsfeld, anyone who doesn’t equate terrorists with the Wehrmacht suffers from “moral or intellectual confusion.”

The Nazis used to be off-limits for analogous purposes. If you called someone a Nazi in an Internet flame war you were automatically judged to have lost the argument. Now the Nazis are back in fashion. Are far-flung terrorists really as dangerous as a trained army of millions? Is Rumsfeld using code words like “Nazi” and “fascist” to play to a particular ethnic base? Or is the Bush Regime merely tipping its hat to the propaganda-by-fear tactics perfected by the Nazis, but regurgitated with great success by Karl Rove? In any case, if they want to relate to the Nazis, let’s go.

Rove-ism at the Washington Post

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

In the post before this one I discuss a New York Times article about an article in a Palestinian newspaper, reprinted in English translation by an Israeli newspaper. I characterized the selection of this particular article for Times’ comment as an example of how our media tries to manipulate our opinions.

I define a “Rove-ism” as an attempt to discredit the messenger, when the message itself cannot be refuted. A prime example of this is the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame after her husband, Joseph Wilson, published an article refuting claims Bush made in his State of the Union address. Now I’ve discovered another example, this time in the Washington Post.


Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

The New York Times carried an article about another article that first appeared in a Palestinian newspaper. The original author is critical of Palestinians and seeks a more-moderate approach to dealing with Israel. It all seems so reasonable at first reading.

JERUSALEM, Aug. 28 In an unusual piece of self-criticism, a well-known Hamas official has decried the collapse of Gazan life into chaos, and said that much of the blame belonged to Palestinians themselves.

Root Causes

Monday, August 28th, 2006

In the past, I have accused the U.S. and Israeli governments of pretending the world began the day before yesterday. Israel justified massacring Lebanese civilians on the grounds that two of its soldiers had been captured at the Lebanon-Israel border. To listen to official statements or read the press coverage, you’d think Hizbollah captured the soldiers on a whim. It’s pitiful that we have to look to an Iranian newspaper for full coverage of the precedent events, but you go to war, again and again, with the press you have, not the press you might like to have. Yuram Weiler, writing in the Tehran Times, neatly traces the history. To ensure the durability of this important information, the article is reproduced here in full.

More Israeli propaganda

Friday, August 25th, 2006

A group of Israelis plans to sue Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad for “incitement to genocide.” (“See you in court, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” Ha’aretz, August 25.) First, they are playing with language to suit Israel’s own racist agenda. When Ahmedinejad speaks of “wiping Israel off the map,” he is, as he has publicly stated, referring to the racist, apartheid State of Israel, in which non-Jews who were born there are treated as second-class citizens at best, by Jews, many of whom are emigres. Israel daily practices ethnic cleansing against Palestinians. Don’t take my word for it, go to Human Rights Watch, or look at other posts made on this forum. Ahmedinejad, Hamas and Hizbollah want fair treatment for Palestinian Muslims and Christians, who have every bit as much right to live free and secure as Jews.

It may be unbelievable to you that a nation we back with $3 billion a year could be racist and engaged in ethnic cleansing. Surely not Israel? Weren’t Jews murdered in the Holocaust? Why don’t we see this on CNN? I don’t know. Ask CNN. Yes, the Holocaust happened, and Ahmedinejad doesn’t deny it. He has a better command of language than any Israeli or American warmonger, though. Ahmedinejad speaks of the “myth” of the Holocaust, but that’s a translation. The right word might be “legend.” The Holocaust, which occurred more than six decades ago, has been leveraged into an excuse for Israel to engage in human-rights violations galore, accumulate a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons, devastate Lebanon, and suck up $3,000,000,000 a year of American money. The Israeli lobby in the U.S., AIPAC, makes the National Rifle Association’s lobby look puny.

These are issues no American politician, and few American journalists or commentators will touch, for fear of the Israeli lobby. Why aren’t we told the truth? Are we going to allow Israel and its sleeper agents in our government to drag us into another illegal and immoral war? How long will we keep supporting ethnic cleansing with our tax dollars?

October Surprise: War with Iran

Friday, August 25th, 2006

“October Surprise” is the name given to a politically motivated shocker unveiled right before elections. The Republican Party faces staggering defeat in the mid-term elections this year, thanks largely to Bush. (To be fair, both parties have failed to prevent the continuation of Bush’s war, and his steady erosion of the Constitution and personal liberty. As the president’s party, the Republicans will pay a heavier price, while the undeserving Democrats will get a boost they didn’t earn.) Bush needs to do something right for a change. Maybe he can order the cancellation of Hurricane Season. More likely, he and his crazed buddies in Israel will provoke a war with Iran.

We all know the story on Iran. They are refining uranium. Right now, they haven’t processed enough uranium to levels of refinement suitable for power generation. It will take many times more centrifuges than Iran already has, to reach weapons-grade refinement levels. Iran is not going to have a bomb next week, or even next year.

Europe and the U.S. are trying to play hardball with Iran, but it isn’t working. Instead of changing pitchers, the West keeps trying to bean Iran, and wonders why they don’t want to play. I don’t know what Europe thinks it is accomplishing, but I know what Bush is up to, because he’s done it before. In the fall of 2002, Saddam Hussein allowed U.N. weapons inspectors to return to Iraq. Those inspectors felt they were given adequate freedom of movement to determine Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The U.N. inspectors were still inspecting when Bush warned them to leave in advance of his pre-emptive war against Saddam. As the war rolled on, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld continued to assert the WMDs were here, there and everywhere in Iraq. We just hadn’t found them yet. The Iraq War was based on fraud originating from the highest levels of our government. Now they’re at it again.

Boycott CBS!

Friday, August 25th, 2006

I am calling for a total boycott of the CBS network and its sponsors. I’ve never watched “Survivor” but I understand the concept. It reflects the senseless, shallow lives most Americans lead by giving viewers a chance to vicariously experience something resembling primitive culture. When you hate your life, your job, your family and your house in the suburbs, there’s nothng like a little corporate-sponsored sadomasochism to lift your spirits. When the most-popular television show in the country that produced Melville, Whitman, Hemingway, and Jackson Pollock, discovered a cure for polio and flew to the moon, is “Survivor,” you don’t need foreign religious militants to tell you our society is on its death bed.

And as if the insane military adventures of G.W. Bush & Co. were not destructive enough, the next “Survivor” series will see teams divided by ethnicity. A CBS statement says the network “has full confidence in the producers and their ability to produce the program in a responsible manner.” That isn’t the point. The concept itself is irresponsible. CBS is irresponsible. This idea should have been scrapped the moment it was suggested. Whoever suggested the idea should have been fired.

Television stations carrying CBS programs are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). FCC has in the past issued heavy fines for broadcasts containing profanity. And don’t forget the Janet Jackson breast incident during the Super Bowl. What FCC will do about this series is unknown, but it probably doesn’t violate any written laws. It does violate the alleged spirit of American equality, though, so it’s up to citizens to act by themselves. Racism is ugly, and still flourishing in this country.

A letter to the Washington Post

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

It’s an understatement to say I disagree with much that I read in the news. Usually, though, my disagreements are with the makers of news, not the note-takers or analysts. Sometimes a published opinion makes me angry enough to write to the publisher. That’s what happened when I read a Richard Cohen op-ed in the Washington Post the other day.

Cohen is chiding European countries for their reluctance to send troops as part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon. While I don’t blame European leaders for their reluctance to clean up Israel’s mess, that’s not what caught my attention. It was this paragraph.

This inability of Europe to get its act together is what suggests 1938. Back then, Winston Churchill was hardly the only one who thought Hitler was intent on war. After all, the German leader was an ideological zealot and a murderer to boot. Still, England did little. Similarly, you don’t have to have Churchillian prescience to see that what happened once in Lebanon can happen again. Hezbollah’s avowed aim is to eradicate Israel. Listen to what it says. Pay attention. It will renew its attacks the first chance it gets. This is why it exists.

First, note how Cohen segues from Europe in 1938 to Lebanon in 2006. Now, we all know what was happening in Europe that year, and who was behind it, right? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Comparing Hizbollah to the Nazis is extremely over the top, but Cohen further argues that Hizbollah has vowed to “eradicate Israel.” (To be accurate, Hizbollah wants a unified Jewish-Palestinian state, not a religous enclave that persecutes non-Jews.)

Cohen masterfully presents his subliminal linkage between the gas chambers and Hizbollah’s unaimable Katyusha rockets, but the real outrage is what he didn’t say: Israel is eradicating Palestinians, and has been for 58 years. Cohen apparently shares the official Israeli conceit that all humans are created equal, but Palestinians — Muslims and Christians — are not human, and thus are not worth even mentioning. That is obscene.

I wasn’t as strident in my letter to the Post, but they couldn’t find room for it, so here it is: