Thursday, June 26, 2008

Conyers to Yoo: Could the President Order a Suspect Buried Alive?

That is a really tough question. Hmmm. Maybe as long as he's not a Democrat.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

AP Frames Israeli Palestinian Conflict

I read this on MSNBC: GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Gaza's Hamas rulers on Tuesday said they have reached a long-awaited cease-fire with Israel meant to end months of Palestinian assaults on Israeli border towns and bruising Israeli retaliation.

So Israel strikes Gaza in retaliation for Palestinian assaults. That presumes Israel is simply acting in a defensive measure when its military fires missiles into Palestinian homes, stops the movement of food, medical supplies, and people into and out of Gaza, cuts off utilities into Gaza, imprisons Palestinians based on only accusations, turns Gaza into a giant outdoor prison and terrorizes the entire community there - children and seniors included.

And Hamas sends crude rockets into Israel because? Well it must be insanity or perhaps antisemitism. Why else would they continue their assaults that bring such horrible retaliation?

In reality, of course, this is an awful and biased article. It casts Israel as innocent and merely defending itself, when Israel is an aggressor that is occupying Palestinian territory and killing thousands of innocent Palestinians. The article mentions a missile attack that hits a car and "killing the five militants inside." The article doesn't mention how it was confirmed that "militants" were in the car, no doubt this is simply what the Israeli Defense Forces told the reporter.

The article finally gives these two sides: Israel wants the rocket attacks to stop, an end to Hamas' weapons build up, and the release of a single Israeli soldier held by Hamas. Hamas wants an end to Israeli "military activity" in Gaza and lifting of the blockade on Gaza.

The article doesn't mention the 350 Palestinian prisoners that Hamas wants Israel to release, and it doesn't elaborate on the "military activity" that has been far more deadly than Hamas' rocket attacks. And naturally it says nothing of the occupation, the taking of Palestinian land by force, or the racist and humiliating nature of that occupation. It also frames the two sides as somewhat equal, or at least it never mentions that Gaza is a battered and starved 3rd World strip of land, completely surrounded and controlled by the most powerful nation-state in the region - a nuclear power backed by the United States.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

Texas Governor's Mansion Burns

Arson is suspected. I always liked that building - particularly because it was easy to protest. The entire property was on a small city block, which allowed for classic "surround the mansion" protests. I never liked the people who lived there.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Two-Party Leap Frog

After winning the Democratic primary with a message of "change" and appealing to the anti-war majority in the U.S., Obama speaks to AIPAC talking tough on Syria, Iran, and Hamas - out of line with most Americans and even most Israelis who, among other things, want their government to negotiate with Hamas. The passion in his voice is reminiscent of MLK, except the text reads more like Bill Clinton or even George Bush, as he declares that Jerusalem should be undivided and the capital of Israel. This notion is very controversial in the world and many so-called "moderate" Palestinians see East Jerusalem as a future capital to a Palestinian state.

It is a sharp turn to the right - at least on this issue - but at least he's not John McCain. True, but he certainly plays the role that Democrats have played well since JFK. Speak to the left and move to the right. The Republicans can't have the Dems out maneuver them, so they move even further - where they're most comfortable anyway. And thus McCain now says the U.S. should move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem (it has been in Tel Aviv). Where does this leave the illegitimate Palestinian authority? Perhaps they can negotiate for a sliver of desert near the Dead Sea. That is unless the two-party power structure in the U.S. decides that can be sacrificed as well.

This little example of Democrats speaking to the progressive mood of the country and moving right, thus pushing Washington as a whole right-ward, reminds me so much of Bill Clinton, it isn't even funny. While watching Obama give his speech to AIPAC, my heart sank. It reminded me of watching Bill Clinton give his State of the Union address calling for "smaller government" to the loud cheers of Republicans.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Now That It Is Obama Versus McCain

Obama reasserts his hawkish side to AIPAC:

"I'll do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Everything"

According to Haaretz: Turning to the contentious issue of Jerusalem, Obama said that the city must remain the capital of Israel and undivided.

"I will always leave the threat of military action on the table to defend our security, and that of our ally Israel."

On his lapel he wore an American flag pin - actually an American-Israeli flag pin.

Although I still lean toward the notion that his Democratic nomination victory is an overall positive, this AIPAC speech and his recent, and unecessary, resignation from his church, along with other rightward trends, worry me.

I can definitely see this guy attacking Iran and liberals standing behind him or staying quiet because "we can't criticize him lest we bolster the Republicans; wait until after the mid-term elections," or if the attack were to come after the mid-terms, "wait until after the next presidential election."

Now if Clinton gets the VP nod, will an Obama victory in November be more bitter than sweet?