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The Peacemaker

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Posted on Jul 30, 2008
Obama and Abbas
AP photo / Muhammed Muheisen

Barack Obama walks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, following a meeting at Abbas’ headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

By Bill Boyarsky

Sen. Barack Obama’s visit to Israel last week no doubt displeased the outspoken hawkish minority in the American Jewish community who want the Palestinians to be crushed. But it may have helped him with the more moderate majority of that community, where he must pick up support.

There are more than 6 million Jews in the United States—slightly more than 2 percent of the population. But their electoral importance exceeds their numbers, especially for Obama. That’s because such a high percentage of Jews vote and most are Democrats. And there are enough of them clustered in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania to help determine who will carry those three key states in November.

Obama’s Israel visit, during his Afghanistan-to-London tour, was tremendously important to him in his effort to find his way through the thicket of Jewish politics and policy that largely revolves around attitudes toward the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

A minority of American Jews, the extreme hawks, reject negotiations with the Palestinians or with the neighboring Arab state of Syria. They want a huge increase in Israeli settlements and don’t care what happens to the Palestinians displaced by them. Other American Jews favor a two-state solution, as does Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. And finally, some Jews, a minority, don’t consider the matter especially important.

These points of views are argued with great intensity in the Jewish community. Trying to deal with all of them can drive a candidate, not to mention a journalist, mad.

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So far, it’s uphill for Obama. A poll taken recently for the liberal Jewish political organization J Street showed 58 percent of American Jews would vote for him (and 4 per cent were leaning in his direction). That’s about what a Gallup poll showed in April, before Obama clinched the nomination. And it’s considerably less than the 80 percent of the vote given to Al Gore and Bill Clinton and the 71 percent to John Kerry.

Since his campaign began, Obama has been the target of an underground e-mail smear campaign. Generally, the smears seek to link Obama with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan through the senator’s former minister. They also peddle the now familiar lie that the Christian Obama was or still is a Muslim.

The only customers for the smears are die-hards who wouldn’t vote for Obama under any circumstances. Smears aside, his biggest challenge among Jews is the same one he faces elsewhere: He remains an unknown quantity. That’s what he addressed as he traveled from Iraq to London last week, trying to convince the electorate back in the United States that he has the intelligence, maturity and judgment needed for the presidency.

Former Rep. Mel Levine of Los Angeles, an Obama campaigner and Jewish community leader, said he thought Obama’s meetings with Israeli leaders were “a grand slam home run. ...He met with a broad cross section and they all commented favorably.”

“People were impressed with his depth of knowledge and grasp of subtlety and nuance,” Levine said.

In general, Obama favors the Israelis and Palestinians working things out themselves.

He had been praised by American Jewish hard-liners when he told the hawkish American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference earlier this year that if he becomes president, “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” But that offended Jews who want Jerusalem to remain Israel’s capital but also favor a capital of a Palestinian state in East Jerusalem.

In an interview during his Israel visit with David Horovitz, editor of the conservative Jerusalem Post, Obama tried to straighten that out. He said, “I believe that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. But I think that how Israel and the Palestinians resolve the issue ... needs to be left up to the two parties.”

On the settlements, Obama rejected hawkish demands for a peace agreement that extends Israel’s borders slightly beyond the territory won in the 1967 war—the so-called ‘67-plus proposals.

“Look, I think that both sides ... are going to have to make some calculations,” he said. “Israel may seek ‘67-plus and justify it in terms of the buffer they need for security purposes. They’ve got to consider whether getting that buffer is worth the antagonism of the other party. The Palestinians are going to have to make a calculation: Are we going to fight for every inch of that ‘67 border or, given the fact that 40 years have now passed and new realities have taken place on the ground, do we take a deal that may not perfectly align with the ‘67 boundaries? My sense is that both sides recognize there’s going to have to be some give. ...”

That’s a reasonable and smart approach. It’s the one that will lead to peace in the area, which is essential to peace in the Middle East. Obama’s one-day stop in Israel lays the foundation for him winning the broad Jewish support he needs to win what increasingly looks like a close election.


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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 6, 2008 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

Check out the new TD post about new evidence being released on the anthrax case. I’m reposting my post from that thread:
—————————————————————————-
This is evidence??????????????????????? Some introspective poetry, and what sounds to me like normal indignation at the 9-11 disaster? They must be kidding! The only actual evidence they have is the DNA traced to his flask of anthrax, but Gerald Posner says he has talked to many microbiologists and they are unanimous that to go from such an anthrax culture to the kind of highly sophisticated, weapons grade powder that was in those envelopes is technically difficult and beyond the capabilities of one scientist working alone. Ivins sounds like a total patsy to me, conveniently suicided just before the “solution” was announced.
—————————————————————————
So, what do you think? i think we got psychopaths in the woodwork.

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By Tony Wicher, August 6, 2008 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

I appreciate your skepticism when it comes to conspiracy theories. So let me ask you about the Anthrax business. According to the FBI we have now determined the person who did it. He is, as usual, a lone nut, and, also as usual, by the time it is announced, he is conveniently dead and in no position to contradict the official story. Now I just heard author Gerald Posner make several strong points on the Olbermann show. There was a flask of liquid anthrax that was traced to Ivins, and that is being offered as the most convincing evidence that he is the culprit. Posner’s point is that it is a long way from a liquid flask of Anthrax to the weapons-grade powder that was sent in the mail. He says he has talked to many experts in microbiology and they are unanimous that making this sort of anthrax powder is technically difficult and beyond the capacity of one scientist working alone.

I think there were probably others involved. Who knows, maybe even the same rogue elements involved in 9-11 itself. Maybe not, but I would like to put an attack dog prosecutor on this to look at every last detail. Instead, the FBI is acting like they solved the case, the guy is dead, case closed. Smells like a coverup to me!

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By Max Shields, August 6, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Just wondering when Obama starts talking about:
http://www.youtube.com/user/votenader08

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By Tony Wicher, August 6, 2008 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Re Inherit The Wind, August 6 at 8:52 am #

But I’ve always said we get the leaders we deserve.
—————————————————————————-
So have I. It was one of Jimmy Carter’s best lines. We deserved Carter, and we deserved what we got for not giving him a second term. We deserve Bush II, and if we manage to avoid electing the best candidate for President I have seen in my lifetime, Barack Obama, we will deserve McCain, too.

Of course, if it looks like a landslide victory for Obama from the exit polls, and the Republicans egregiously steal it by hacking the voting machines, that’s another matter. I would consider that a coup. In that case, it is time for massive street demonstrations, etc. If it is that egregious, the real American people would be behind such actions.

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By Tony Wicher, August 6, 2008 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

Re Inherit The Wind, August 6 at 8:52 am #


“But Tony, the people don’t know what they want or need! We have to teach them!”—Sorry, Mr. Headroom, but did I steal your next line?
—————————————————————————
Such “educational” efforts are going to convince millions of people that the Democratic Party is bad news and they better vote for McCain.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 6, 2008 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher, August 6 at 7:52 am #

Max,

You recreate 68 types are monumentally self-centered and self-righteous to think you represent “the people”. Who elected you? Nobody, that’s who. You “elected” yourselves. Obama certainly represents the power structure, or some elements of it, but he also represents “the people” a whole hell of a lot more than you. Even McCain does. You guys aren’t really democratic at all. You really are elitists. The people are not behind you, not at all. You’re the kiss of death. Anything you’re for, the people are going to vote against.
***********************************************

“But Tony, the people don’t know what they want or need! We have to teach them!”—Sorry, Mr. Headroom, but did I steal your next line?

It’s not that I don’t think there are a lot of ignorant and even stupid voters.  There obviously are (63 million voted for Bush in 2004).  I don’t think I have the right to “vote” for them, because they have to vote for themselves.

Right now, we have a system where the politicians play to the fears of the un-informed, who refuse to see they are un-informed.  How do I know?  They buy into obvious BS from McCain, Obama, Paul, Kucinich, Barr, and even (gasp!) Ralph Nader.

If you want to know what “The People” want, study Nikita Kruschev on “Goulash Communism”.

If you want better voters, bring back Civics classes and teach people what our Democracy is all about and how it works.  Ask 99 out of 100 people on the street what the requirements for being President are and and they’ll name something wrong “He has to be a family man.” “He has to go to church”—stuff like that. 

Ask them where Habeas Corpus is in the Bill of Rights—you’ll get answers like the 1st Amendment, the 5th Amendment (Trick Question: HC is in the main body of the Constitution, not the BOR—it was the ONE right the Founding Fathers all agreed needed to be enumerated right from the start).

But I’ve always said we get the leaders we deserve.  If we didn’t get Al Gore or John Kerry in, it’s the fault of everyone of us, including all you Ralph Nader voters.

If we are stupid voters, we get crooked leaders who take advantage of us. If we are scared voters, we get dictators.  If we judge Presidential candidates by who we’d like to drink a beer with, we get George W. Bush.

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By Tony Wicher, August 6, 2008 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Max,

You recreate 68 types are monumentally self-centered and self-righteous to think you represent “the people”. Who elected you? Nobody, that’s who. You “elected” yourselves. Obama certainly represents the power structure, or some elements of it, but he also represents “the people” a whole hell of a lot more than you. Even McCain does. You guys aren’t really democratic at all. You really are elitists. The people are not behind you, not at all. You’re the kiss of death. Anything you’re for, the people are going to vote against.

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By Tony Wicher, August 6, 2008 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

cyrena,

When I first checked the site there was something suggesting a link to the DNC. I don’t see it now. There is no way the DNC is going to approve this thing. They’re not suicidal.

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By Tony Wicher, August 6, 2008 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

Check out this shit USA today. And I do mean shit.


The Denver City Council has passed an ordinance barring protesters from carrying buckets of feces during the Democratic National Convention.

Three protest groups say they’ve already promised not to toss, smear or spray feces, and they call the new ordinance insulting and excessive.

The council approved the ordinance 12-0 on Monday. It also bars protesters from possessing chains, locks or other materials they could use to create human barricades or cause other disruptions.

Members of Re-create 68, Unconventional Action and Tent State University say the ordinance is overkill because they have signed an agreement not to use excrement.

The convention will take place Aug. 25-28.
—————————————————————————-
Wow, recreate 68 promises not to use excrement! Can you picture it on national TV?

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By Max Shields, August 6, 2008 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, August 5 at 7:51 pm #


Re Max Shields, August 5 at 3:07 pm

Go ahead and predict gloom and doom; I can’t stop you. What’s your alternative? recreate 68?

================================================
Given what’s happening around us - that is if you stop thinking we can afford business as usual - it’s not a prediction of gloom and doom. I like to think of it as an opportunity for a new beginning…if we’re smart enough to view it that way.

The old system - the one McCain and Obama are running in - is dying. Death to such as system will not come easy. It will fight and claw to keep as many American’s attention as possible, but like all things, a re-birth is on the horizon.

But for the short term it’s pretty messy and it’s fair to say that the real power behind these personalities will fight mightily to retain their kingdom. Obama is not a leader in the sense of being at one with himself. His speeches are sounding tired and begging for purpose. Eloquence has a shelf-life and his is ending. That doesn’t mean he won’t in the White House in ‘09…it’s certainly possible though given everything McCain is neck in neck in the polls.

The point is it’s hard to simply talk your way into the hearts and minds of people. There’s got to be a sense of knowing who you are and what you stand for deep in your soul. Dems continue to play with Repug-lite fire and they get burned because they shed authenticity for pragmaticism - and as I said a Faustian wager that doesn’t pan out.

As far as violent disruptions as the Dem convention, I’m with you. The kind of change we need won’t be gotten through violence; but I certainly applaud any and all expressions by the people to demonstrate against deceipt and war. For that I say, RIGHT ON!!

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By cyrena, August 6, 2008 at 4:15 am Link to this comment

Tony, this was part of your comment to ITW

Did you check it out? http://www.recreate68.com/. Tell me what you think. This supposedly has the blessing of the DNC??? I don’t like the looks of it at all. I’m sure that most of the people involved are sincere, but I fear they are politically naive and being used, same as 40 years ago.

~~~

For whatever the reason, (because I can’t site anything specifically right now) I don’t think this group is approved by the DNC. If so, then there is more than one agenda going on here.

Sounds overwhelmingly sinister to me…like a Max Shields type gang mentality. How do we figure that the DNC would be OK with a group who portends to break down the entire system?

I’m glad you sent the letter. I chewing my fingernails too. I don’t trust it at all.

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By Tony Wicher, August 5, 2008 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, recreate 68,www.recreate68.com, “About Us”

Welcome to the Recreate 68 website, your virtual activists’ convergence center for the Democratic National Convention of 2008. This website was created for all the grassroots people who are tired of being sold out by the Democratic Party.

R68 agrees with the proposition, POTESTAS IN POPULO, “all power comes from the people.” What stands between the people and power are the party machines. The parties were devised as a means to represent the people. Today they represent nobody, not even party members, but only party bureaucracy. The people have been left without appropriate institutions for their representation. We intend to create those institutions!

Join us in the streets of Denver as we resist a two-party system that allows imperialism and racism to continue unrestrained.
——————————————————————————-
Great, just great! Well, maybe by the grace of Allah, things won’t be so bad, the Denver pigs won’t be as piggish as the Chicago 68 pigs, there won’t be any major incidents and a fun celebration of democracy will be had by all. I’m chewing my fingernails as we speak.

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By Tony Wicher, August 5, 2008 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

By yours trulyj, August 5 at 3:42 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

A Just Peace Is Possible

“How?”

“First the Jewish settlers own up to their having barged in uninvited and taken over the Palestinian homeland.”

——————————————————————————
OK, I’ll bite. When is this going to happen? When Hell freezes over?

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By Tony Wicher, August 5, 2008 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

Re Max Shields, August 5 at 3:07 pm

Go ahead and predict gloom and doom; I can’t stop you. What’s your alternative? recreate 68?

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By yours trulyj, August 5, 2008 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A Just Peace Is Possible

“How?”

“First the Jewish settlers own up to their having barged in uninvited and taken over the Palestinian homeland.”

“And then?”

“The Jewish settlers ask the Palestinians if it would be possible for Palestinian and Jew to sit down together for the purpose of figuring things out.”

“And the Palestinians response?”

“Yes, of course, but if only you’d asked us that a century ago.”

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By Max Shields, August 5, 2008 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

By Lefty, August 5 at 3:20 pm #
“Max, I think you are a neo-con, bigot!”

=================================================

Consider refraining from using the word “think” when making such accusations.

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By Max Shields, August 5, 2008 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

Tony
“I do understand what you are saying, and it is certainly true that Obama cannot go outside the “mainstream” if he expects to be elected. The range of the debate is very narrow, as Chomsky says.”

It seems you aren’t reading my posts in their entirety. It is not simply that Obama has “moved” to the right and so the differences are slight between his rhetoric and McCain’s. It is the totality of his relationships which are deeply troubling if you believe in real change in foreign and hence domestic American policy.

The MSM is certainly extremely problematic as they shape the dialog and to whatever extent the election outcome. All of a sudden oil drilling is a must thing to do because - the American people want it, be damned all that talk about alternative green sustainable energy!!!

I expect, regardless of who wins this election, the US will refocus on Latin America. Military options will be part and parcel of so-called “American diplomacy”. The latter is not diplomacy because it is about asymmetrical force to bring about one sides results over the other, it is the ultimate threat.

In 2006, the Latin American historian, Greg Grandin wrote in his Empire’s Workshop, that regardless of which party/candidate won, the US would be going back into Latin America to lick its wounds as it has done twice before. When that happens death and despire occurs. While soft-power (FDR’s Good Neighbor policy) is possible, Grandin, wisely predicts that it will not be the case. The corporate hold on both parties has increased many times since Reagan when last the US (G Bush I went to Panama)blow tourched South and Central America with death squads. American Corporate dependencies are deep.

Bottom line, either of these guys will be forced to protect those interests at any cost to the people of Latin America. US will continue to be a preditory nation under an Obama administration. His advisors are shaping up to be militarists who’ve shown their proclevity for military intervention for decades.

No, Obama is a newby who will follow their lead. One can be very sure of that. So, it is not his rhetoric. It is the company he keeps and the truth that the US government is owned not by You and Me, but by a corporate class and its mineons (neocons/neoliberals, hawks, blue dog Dems, conservatives, etc.).

Peace, Tony

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By Tony Wicher, August 5, 2008 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

Did you check it out? http://www.recreate68.com/. Tell me what you think. This supposedly has the blessing of the DNC??? I don’t like the looks of it at all. I’m sure that most of the people involved are sincere, but I fear they are politically naive and being used, same as 40 years ago. The language is inflamatory, with images of clenched fists, etc. In their statement of principles they don’t even promise to be non-violent, but invoke a principle of community self-defense. Can you picture it? It’s like deja vu all over again. Recreate 68. What the hell? How easy will it be for a provocateur to throw a stone and start a riot? Why are these people going to Denver, anyway? Vietnam was the Democrat’s war. At least it made sense in 68 for anti-war protesters to go to the Chicago Democratic convention. Iraq is the Republican’s war. They own it lock, stock and barrel. All anti-war protesters should go to the Republican convention, not the Democratic one. It makes no sense to go to Denver. What good do these people think they are doing? There is everything to lose and nothing to gain from this action.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 5, 2008 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher, August 5 at 8:45 am #

Max,

I thought you might be interested in this email I just sent to the PDA:

Folks,

I want to be damn sure that any actions taken during the Denver convention do NOT turn out like Chicago 68, which was a huge political disaster that brought us 40 years of Republicanism, reaction and ruin. What is this “recreate68’ group? Is it full of Republican provocateurs like Chicago? I’m sure of it! Who the hell wants to recreate 68 but Republicans? THERE MUST BE NO VIOLENCE NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BETTER NOT TO GO AT ALL!!!! I SAY GO ONLY TO THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION. They are the criminals, they are the ones we should be angry with. Please, please, don’t do anything to hurt the Democrats and let McCain get in the way Nixon got in. Not again.  I’M BEGGING YOU!

Tony Wicher
Ontario, California

****************************************

So that’s their latest dirty trick?  THAT I can believe they are capable of, far more than conceiving, planning, and carrying out the WTC attack.  THIS is more in line with how they think and act.  Then they’ll have someone toss in a bomb and blame the Left.  It’s been done before—The Haymarket Square Bombing—in Chicago, no less. May 4, 1886.  3 men were executed for a “crime” it was never proved that they committed.  It was used to crack down and generate hysteria against “Foreign Anarchists!”

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By Tony Wicher, August 5, 2008 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Max,

I thought you might be interested in this email I just sent to the PDA:

Folks,

I want to be damn sure that any actions taken during the Denver convention do NOT turn out like Chicago 68, which was a huge political disaster that brought us 40 years of Republicanism, reaction and ruin. What is this “recreate68’ group? Is it full of Republican provocateurs like Chicago? I’m sure of it! Who the hell wants to recreate 68 but Republicans? THERE MUST BE NO VIOLENCE NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BETTER NOT TO GO AT ALL!!!! I SAY GO ONLY TO THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION. They are the criminals, they are the ones we should be angry with. Please, please, don’t do anything to hurt the Democrats and let McCain get in the way Nixon got in. Not again.  I’M BEGGING YOU! 

Tony Wicher
Ontario, California

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By Tony Wicher, August 5, 2008 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

By Max Shields, August 5 at 5:22 am #


By Tony Wicher, August 4 at 8:53 pm #

Your arguments for Obama are frivelous. “what he says doesn’t matter because he’s not the president”!!!!

So, why not vote for McCain?

The truth is that Obama continues to frame the world in Bush-talk. He does not confront it and provide an alternative. This has been the fundamental problem with the Dems - accentuated post-Reagan. For Obama it’s still about a war on terror. But of course those are just his words and he’s not president and so we should ignore them…because when he’s in….

It is true that both these candidates are in a dialog that has nothing to do with change. There differences - as the differences between Hillary and Obama - are slight, a question of degree and image and personality. That’s fundamentally it.
—————————————————————————
I do understand what you are saying, and it is certainly true that Obama cannot go outside the “mainstream” if he expects to be elected. The range of the debate is very narrow, as Chomsky says. (By the way, I have been corresponding with Chomsky off and on since the early 90’s. I often agree with him, but we also disagree on important matters, and I find him rather - no, quite - dogmatic and intolerant.) But in this particular case, McCain v Obama, the political range, if still restricted, is the widest it has ever been in my lifetime. This is the election when our votes mean the most.  This election of all elections is the time for a Democratic landslide. People, don’t throw your vote away!

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By Tony Wicher, August 5, 2008 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Re Inherit The Wind, August 5 at 3:40 am

ITW,

Whew! I’m pleasantly relieved. I was worried about you for a minute. I am on board with your strategy. No point starting serious investigations until after Bush is out of office and can’t pardon anybody. But once he is out, then, yes, investigate the hell out of everything and everybody. It would be so sweet to see Bush in jail! I could die happy. 

Part of the investigation should surely be a thorough investigation of everything that went on before, during and after 9-11. If it turns out on closer examination that it really was nothing but monumental incompetence, I can accept that.

I think your reluctance to consider that bin Laden had inside help may be that you are concerned that so many anti-Semites are blaming it on Israel and the Mossad. To me, the prime suspect is the Bush Administration, or rogue elements within it. I think it likely that CIA connections with bin Laden have been maintained since the 80’s through the ISI, Pakistani intelligence.

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By Max Shields, August 5, 2008 at 6:22 am Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, August 4 at 8:53 pm #

Your arguments for Obama are frivelous. “what he says doesn’t matter because he’s not the president”!!!!

So, why not vote for McCain?

The truth is that Obama continues to frame the world in Bush-talk. He does not confront it and provide an alternative. This has been the fundamental problem with the Dems - accentuated post-Reagan. For Obama it’s still about a war on terror. But of course those are just his words and he’s not president and so we should ignore them…because when he’s in….

It is true that both these candidates are in a dialog that has nothing to do with change. There differences - as the differences between Hillary and Obama - are slight, a question of degree and image and personality. That’s fundamentally it.

When McCain makes his accusations about Obama the narrative is simply a script - The Dems get one speaking part and the Repugs the other. Only those who don’t follow any of this may think their actually defining real differences.

It’s about calling someone a “liberal” and the other calling his opponent a “Bush 3rd term”. No substance just old time political religion come out to strut its tired old self.

Frankly the problems with this country are so deep that this half-wits will never be able to do more than go to war, and meddle in the world’s business. Only a minor mirical, it would be timid at best, would change that course. The depth of the corporate strangle hold on these parties and candidates is such that there will be no change. Our domestic quagmire will go the way of our perpetural warring. It’s fatal.

Good news, Nadar’s clocking 6% and growing. Not bad.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 5, 2008 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

Let me ask you this: do you support continuing to investigate the crimes of the Bush administration after November? Don’t you want to see some accountability? Don’t you think we really need a major airing out to restore our Constitution? That’s all I’m asking, just investigate everything from 9-11 to the lies that got us into Iraq to bin Laden being allowed to get away to secret wiretapping - everything.
********************************************

Of course I do. But let me be VERY specific here:  I don’t want any REALLY serious investigations of the Bush admin to take place, just enough to keep embarrassing them.

Why do I take this odd, seemingly irrational position? Simple: The Power of The Presidential Pardon.  ANYBODY seriously in trouble can expect a Bush pardon on Jan 19, 2009 as a bribe to keep his/her mouth shut, knowing that if he doublecrosses them, on Jan 20, 2009 they’ll be squealing like stuck pigs.  He can even pardon them for UNinvestigated crimes (like Ford pardoned Nixon).

So I want the investigations and prosecutions to kick in full-force on the morning of Jan 21, 2009, with Barack Obama as President to make sure Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfawitz, etc, don’t get a Presidential pardon, but instead see jail time.  I’d like to see George W. Bush as the first president to serve time for his crimes in office—it makes our nation stronger to re-inforce that even the President is bound by law.

Step 1) Investigate just enough to embarrass the WH and help Obama win a landslide that gives filibuster-proof power to Dems in the Senate, or, better still, veto-proof power to both houses.

Step 2) Bring criminal investigations of Bush&Co;upt to full speed on Jan 21, 2009

Step 3) Pray to Yahweh, God, Allah, Vishnu, Siva, Buddha, Odin, Zeus, etc, that Bush doesn’t stage a coup d’etat and seize power making himself “President For Life”.  Or, if he does, that the Military is loyal enough to kick him out and return power to the LEGAL possessors of it.

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By Tony Wicher, August 5, 2008 at 12:17 am Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, August 4 at 10:41 am #
Neither Israel nor even the Bushies stand to gain 1000th of what they stand to lose if revealed.
————————————————————————-
ITW

Don’t you think Bush/Cheney are war criminals? Don’t you think they belong at the end of a rope for all they have done, whether you think they are responsible for 9-11 or not? But the Bushes have been in the shadiest, most evil weapons business for generations, including almost being indicted for selling arms to Hitler as late as 1939. They don’t expect their crimes to be revealed. They think they are above that sort of thing, beyond the reach of human decency. And they are insane with hubris.

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By Tony Wicher, August 4, 2008 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

Max Shields, August 4 at 12:48 pm #

As far as AIPAC, he made a damning speech if you care about Palestinians and human rights. If his speeches are so damn important, than he needs to be held accountable for his words…not rationalized away. He’s done damage, Tony, how far before you hold him accountable?

The ends justifying the means has always been a no win game for the people. Winning at any prices you give your soul away - if there’s one to begin with; and then…you’re absolutely WORTHLESS. The Faustian wager has always back fired.
——————————————————————————-
Max,

I don’t consider that Obama has done any damage to speak of when he hasn’t been elected yet. I’m waiting to see what he does as President. I mostly find things to cheer about in his speeches, though he has shocked and disappointed me on occasion, specifically his dissociation from Jeremiah Wright (with whom I sympathized) the AIPAC speech and the FISA vote. Those disappointments are nowhere near enough to prevent me from supporting him. Why don’t you ever look on the bright side? This very day he is running an ad that says we can’t afford to have big oil running the country any more, and proposing a windfall profits tax to give everybody $1000 to help pay for gas (instead of the idiotic gas tax holiday). Hurray, is what I say.

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By Tony Wicher, August 4, 2008 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

By Max Shields, August 4 at 12:48 pm #


Why is your guy Obama afraid to debate Nader?
——————————————————————————
Max,
I would like to see that debate, but it isn’t going to happen, not because Obama is “afraid” but because there is no political advantage in it. You know, I always liked Nader. He was a great consumer advocate back in the 60’s, and I’m sure he would be welcome as such in an Obama administration. But no, instead he is spending his golden years splitting the progressive vote by running for President. They say the only cure for that bug is formaldehyde.

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By Tony Wicher, August 4, 2008 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

Re Inherit The Wind, August 4 at 10:41 am #

ITW,

Let me ask you this: do you support continuing to investigate the crimes of the Bush administration after November? Don’t you want to see some accountability? Don’t you think we really need a major airing out to restore our Constitution? That’s all I’m asking, just investigate everything from 9-11 to the lies that got us into Iraq to bin Laden being allowed to get away to secret wiretapping - everything.

I don’t have as much confidence in cowardly Congressional Democrats as you seem to. Of course none of them even suspected the possiblility of an inside job, and none of them looked for such a thing. Hell, neither did I for several years. But now, in retrospect, I do. Like I said, I could be wrong, but all I’m asking for is a real investigation.

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By Max Shields, August 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

Why is your guy Obama afraid to debate Nader? or Barr? or McKinney or even McCain in an unrigged debate when HE said he’d debate any of his opponents?

Progressive? My eye. This guy makes Bill Clinton look like a card carrying Marxist.

Tony, as far as Obama’s “sterling record” as a community organizer; from my research on this fellow it was short-lived and quickly moved to the shaky politics of Chicago. I understand that the only way Obama could get elected is when they redistricted the voting districts that put wealthy Repubs and Dems in the mix.

I think you should dig a tad more with just a little more skepticism about this “community organizer”. His aim was to get in politics and organizing was a means to an end. There may have been a time…but this guy doesn’t have deep roots with the black community. I’m not holding it against him, he grew up in white communities and adapted well…very well indeed (wasn’t his choice exactly).

But his resume as a community organizer would barely get him elected dog catcher by itself, let alone Prez. That’s why all the puff and sizzle. When the resume is thin you got to create a “rock superstar” vibe to get the show on the road.

But hey, I’m all for community organizers who have really accomplished things - so what did he really accomplish, Tony?

As far as AIPAC, he made a damning speech if you care about Palestinians and human rights. If his speeches are so damn important, than he needs to be held accountable for his words…not rationalized away. He’s done damage, Tony, how far before you hold him accountable?

The ends justifying the means has always been a no win game for the people. Winning at any prices you give your soul away - if there’s one to begin with; and then…you’re absolutely WORTHLESS. The Faustian wager has always back fired.

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By cyrena, August 4, 2008 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, August 4 at 9:51 am #
Sumpin’ bad’s gonna happen….I just know it.
Why? Cyrena, TW, Lefty and me are all on the same wavelength with little, if any disagreement.
Sumthin’s really, really wrong here!!!!!!
~~~~~

ITW, you made my day! Think of it this way, (which will allow you to keep the general ‘importance’ of this celestial event)..maybe it means sumthin’ good’s gonna happen! Or, at the very worst, it means that things are soooo critical, that the sobriety of sanity has set in. I can speak to this from some personal experience. When tragedy/crises strikes, even the most diverse among the team of responders kicks in with perfect rhythm. Once the crises passes, (or at least the situation is stabilized) they’re at each other’s throats again. This actually provides me with a great deal more comfort than I might have otherwise experienced. I’m very attached to sanity…my own and others. Gives me a feeling of security to know that you all are out there.

Speaking of which, Max says this…


•  “cyrena and her buddy “lefty” on the other hand live in a fantasy world.

Oh Max, if only, if only, if only…this were true. (well, I can’t speak for Lefty, but I sure as hell wish I could conjure up some fantasy for myself). But, I don’t do those kinda drugs. But just out of curiosity, how do YOU do it?

Never mind…I’ll just stick with what I know. My gut tells me these times require complete sobriety.

~~~

As for the 9/11 catastrophe that changed life as we know it; I actually tried to believe it at first, even though it just never ‘settled right’. But, I was willing to wait for the complete details, like we’ve always received after any air disaster. Besides, even the merest hint of a question at the time was enough to get one exiled for treason and sedition. But, the expected answers never came. And when they supposedly finally did, in the form of that alleged Commission, it only made things worse. Seems like the least they could have done was admit that the WTC had been blown up by explosives, since that was a no-brainer. All they had to do was blames that on the ‘terrorists’ as well. Instead, they expected us to believe what they were telling us, instead of what our eyes were telling us.

Anyway, for me, I always knew something was terribly wrong. I knew several of the crew members on those flights, and I knew they wouldn’t give up their cockpits to anybody, if in fact they’d been in control of them. It really does boil down to that for me. That not a single one of them squawked a code is beyond belief for any professional. That there has yet to be a single solitary piece of physical evidence in the form of ANY kind of debris, defies all the laws of everything. 4 commercial jetliners don’t just evaporate without a trace, in less than 2 hours, with NO response from the nation’s defense system. It’s like the former San Francisco Mayor, Willie Brown said, “If they can’t protect the PENTAGON, then they can’t protect ANYTHING.” Nope, nope, nope. It defies all belief. WHOMEVER was responsible, it didn’t happen the way they say it did.

THIS…I know.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 4, 2008 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

As I see it, I don’t doubt that that bin Laden and Islamic militants did carry out the attack. The question in my mind is whether they had inside help. I think they did, but I could be wrong. I still think all three builidings were demolished by explosive charges, which the perptrators counted on being able to cover up in all the chaos and confusion. All I want is a real investigation into all the criminal activities of the Bush administration, and I sure don’t trust the 9-11 Commission or anything else that happened under the auspices of the utterly corrupt Bush administration and Republican-controlled Congress.

Would you support me in this? I would happily accept the results either way if I thought the investigation was really thorough and open.
****************************************

Nope. I’ve never seen any reason to the commission’s findings.  It was bi-partisan and if there was ANY hint of our own government being behind it, the political capital for Democrats would be like hitting the MegaMillions jackpot when it hit its max…so NO Democrat would cover it up.

I think the idea is insane, even for Bush.  “Little Green Men did it.” is more believable.  However, IF there was a connection due to the bumbling incompetence and arrogance of this regime (which, I doubt, but certainly is possible) I, again, cannot imagine the Dems on the Commission not posting that right up there.

The problem with conspiracy theories is that most don’t stand up to, what Max Headroom likes to call “Critical Thinking”.  There is NO party outside of Al Qaeda, and possibly the nuts of Timothy McVeigh’s ilk that has isn’t risking far, far more than they hope to gain from such an attack.  Neither Israel nor even the Bushies stand to gain 1000th of what they stand to lose if revealed.

It’s a simple cost/benefit analysis.

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By Tony Wicher, August 4, 2008 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, August 4 at 9:51 am #


Sumpin’ bad’s gonna happen….I just know it.

Why? Cyrena, TW, Lefty and me are all on the same wavelength with little, if any disagreement.

Sumthin’s really, really wrong here!!!!!!
——————————————————————————-
ITW,

I guess it’s just that old Obama black magic! He really does bring us together. 
—————————————————————————
(BTW, Lefty, Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden were well known long before 9/11.  When it hit, on that day, the gang in my office were speculating if Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were behind it, because of the Kenya and Cole bombings. One guy even said “It’s his (OBL’s) style of attack.” And we are just an ordinary business with no government connections or interest or sources.  Just ordinary people who follow the news.)
——————————————————————————
ITW,

As I see it, I don’t doubt that that bin Laden and Islamic militants did carry out the attack. The question in my mind is whether they had inside help. I think they did, but I could be wrong. I still think all three builidings were demolished by explosive charges, which the perptrators counted on being able to cover up in all the chaos and confusion. All I want is a real investigation into all the criminal activities of the Bush administration, and I sure don’t trust the 9-11 Commission or anything else that happened under the auspices of the utterly corrupt Bush administration and Republican-controlled Congress.

Would you support me in this? I would happily accept the results either way if I thought the investigation was really thorough and open.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 4, 2008 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Sumpin’ bad’s gonna happen….I just know it.

Why? Cyrena, TW, Lefty and me are all on the same wavelength with little, if any disagreement.

Sumthin’s really, really wrong here!!!!!!

(BTW, Lefty, Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden were well known long before 9/11.  When it hit, on that day, the gang in my office were speculating if Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were behind it, because of the Kenya and Cole bombings. One guy even said “It’s his (OBL’s) style of attack.”  And we are just an ordinary business with no government connections or interest or sources.  Just ordinary people who follow the news.)

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By Tony Wicher, August 4, 2008 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

By Max Shields, August 4 at 6:42 am #


Tony,

Not to belabor (and I’m sure the Obama fanatics will distort what I’m about to “say”), but as a thought experiment, on the matter of “pandering”, this is a very important bit of information to track when thinking about these “candidates in waiting”. When is a “pander” just a meaningless token, and when is it a real gesture of where the candidate is coming from?
—————————————————————————-
It’s a good question, Max. Take the Obama speech to AIPAC. You keep saying Obama has no record, but actually he has a sterling record as a community organizer in Chicago, and as Lefty says, if you want to know what Obama really thinks, your best bet is to look at his record there, and not what he says now in the heat of a presidential election. And what do we see when we look at his record? For one thing, we see strong ties with both the the Jewish and Afro-American communities in Chicago, and what looks to me like a very strong commitment to repair the old Jewish-Afro-American civil rights coalition. That is the kind of record I want to see in a president who is going to tackle the Israel/Palestine conflict. It is that real record that will enable Obama to retain a substantial majority of Jewish voters in the coming election. 

The political purpose of the AIPAC speech was obviously to garner maximum Jewish support by reassuring Jews of his commitment to Israeli security. The “undivided Jerusalem” was, I believe, and ill-considered applause line which he took back the next day. But the way he did it was so sneaky I can’t prove it was a takeback at all. The next day he has said that he never meant by “undivided” 100% Israeli control, but rather a Jerusalem not divided into zones with barbed wire fences and checkpoints preventing people of any nationality from traveling freely. Maybe the Zionist crowd just heard what it wanted to hear. A lot of them said “I knew it was too good to be true” after his statement the next day. But there is in any case no doubt that Obama IS committed to Israeli security, so the speech was not just a pander. Yet there is also no doubt in my mind that Obama symapthizes with Palestinians too. They are the “blacks” in this situation. From his record, I don’t think he will forget them. One thing is for sure for sure: Palestinians will get a much better deal from Obama than they would get from McCain.

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By cyrena, August 4, 2008 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

By Lefty, August 3 at 8:25 pm
WHEN DO WE GET A CANDIDATE WHO IS PROUD TO BE A LIBERAL, AND KNOWS . . . KNOWS THAT THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WILL VOTE FOR HIM FOR BEING A PROUD, BRAVE, HONEST, LIBERAL?
Is that too much to ask?
~~~~

No Lefty, I don’t think it’s too much to ask. Not at all. And, when I get a chance, I’ll post a piece that I came across just recently, that might shed a little more light on his liberal roots. But in reality, the cautiousness that Obama exudes is *not* new, or really at all unusual for an academic who thinks hard.  But, breaking down your concerns (since many share them) or at least a few of them, I’ll just provide my own ‘take’ for whatever it’s worth, KNOWING that it is only one of many reactions, and respecting the others.

On the “Faith Based-Initiatives” : I think he should have just chosen another term for it, or…NOT ADDRESSED IT AT ALL! Seriously. He’s not talking about changing anything from the way things were PRIOR to the Coup. He made an error in trying to address what has become an insidious take-over of state institutions, (like the flippin’ MILITARY) by the right-wing fundies since the Coup. Using THEIR TERMINOLOGY to show how he was going to ‘fix it’,  just really blew up. In all honesty, (as an agnostic) I don’t have a problem with these organizations providing social services, AT LEAST not in the conditions that I’m familiar with. In other words, as long as they aren’t preaching their ideology in the process of providing the services, I don’t care. And in my experiences with many of them, they don’t. That’s not to say that I don’t understand how this rubs a lot of people the wrong way. I do. But my own experience tells me that the fears are overblown. (Of course since the Coup, these fears are obviously legitimate).  Prior to that though, these agencies, hospitals, and other social service type organizations that happen to maintain affiliations with one religion or another have not, (in my own experience) been committed to ‘converting’ anybody. They just provide services.

On Afghanistan: His recent plans DO concern me, for all of the normal reasons. Initially, I believed it to be a legitimate enough action, if only because it wasn’t ‘unilateral’. In other words, it was initiated under the umbrella of NATO. Knowing more now than I did then, I’m inclined to believe that it too, was a mistake. NOT because there isn’t an ‘al-Qaeda’ or a bin Laden. Both did exist, (and maybe they still do) but never as the all powerful boogey man that Dick Bush created for their ‘war OF terra’. An excellent book on this that you’d probably enjoy is: “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” by Lawrence Wright.

I’m also inclined to believe that bin Laden and Zawahiri most likely DID at least ‘pipe dream’ such an operation at one point, (bin laden even talked about waging war on Saddam, back when Saddam had the 4th largest military in the world, until his more sane compatriots advised him that he was out of his mind). That said, I’m sure they ‘talked about’ it. I’m equally certain that Dick Bush pre-empted any plans they may have had, plugging in their own operatives.

HOWEVER, like most academics and ‘professional’ scholars, Obama does apparently believe that they were behind that action, and most of my own colleagues believe it as well, based on the “Blowback” theory. Indeed, the Taliban does exist, and the connections between them and al-Qaeda are well documented. Still, since Pakistan has a new regime now, (as opposed to the Musharraff regime that was protecting them) they need time to work that out. Obama was pissed because we were giving Musharraff billions, and that pisses me off as well.

So, there should be some serious thought before any escalated military action happens. IMHO.

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By Tony Wicher, August 4, 2008 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

Re Lefty, August 3 at 7:29 pm #


Re Tony Wicher, August 3 at 6:00 pm #

With Obama, at least I have the comfort of doubt.
——————————————————————————-
Lefty, we are on the same wavelength for a change. I too cannot pretend to know how progressive Obama will be and how much he will compromise to the right when he is President. But with Obama at least there is doubt; McCain is a guaranteed imperialist lackey warmonger. The reason I have been sounding so optimistic about Obama in this forum is that I have been trying to make that very point - even if there are very legitimate doubts about Obama, there is no doubt whatsoever about whom to vote for in November for anybody with even slightly progessive instincts. Believe it or not, I have actually been kicked off the Obama for America site for being too critical!

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By Max Shields, August 4, 2008 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Tony,

Not to belabor (and I’m sure the Obama fanatics will distort what I’m about to “say”), but as a thought experiment, on the matter of “pandering”, this is a very important bit of information to track when thinking about these “candidates in waiting”. When is a “pander” just a meaningless token, and when is it a real gesture of where the candidate is coming from?

In the case of McCain (the evil one) his pandering is done in the context of a long Senate history. He has positions and votes which say more about who he is, particularly where these are against the tide of his Party (and conservatives in general). When I look at that record, I sense more of the instincts of McCain. It doesn’t mean that he’ll not waiver, but that he’s not as dogmatic as his recent incarnation appears.

Obama has nearly none of that history and little to indicate that he has strong convictions that he stands by. He is a man who has learned to identify where the centers of power are and gravitate that way. His pandering has little context. Is he really for fair trade agreements or free trade? Does he really mean he’ll do whatever to protect Israel, or is that just a pragmatic thing to say during an election season?

(To be clear, I would never vote for either of these candidates.)

I was watching a rerun of the Robert F. Kennedy documentaryrun in 1968. I have no delusions about Bobby Kennedy, but he was in a particular time and place. He was totally of that time. He was one with himself and the people he spoke to. I do not question the authenticity of his words. I ask myself, what did he have to gain, politically, by making the powerless and poor his intense focus (and I do mean INTENSE)?

There is none of that with Obama. He assumes African Americans will be there as much of the Dem white power elite have done. We have a gap between the rich and poor that is FAR and away greater than what Bobby Kennedy saw. In fact it has reached (and perhaps surpassed) that of pre-Great Depression. Raw poverty has never been worse than since the Depression and yet, we have a tepid (at best) Dem candidate who offers to Israel the world and holds out nothing for the people of America - particularly the poor and disenfranchised - with some bleak and old platitudes about “hope”.

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By Max Shields, August 4, 2008 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, August 3 at 6:00 pm #

Again, although I think your politics are off, I appreciate that you’re for Obama for the very reasons I find extremely dangerous.

cyrena and her buddy “lefty” on the other hand live in a fantasy world.

You, Tony, are a true believer in neoliberalism, mixed with realpolitic (ala Brezinski). You like limited strategic military intervention - the killing must be from 10,000 feet and collateral damage is a small price (ala Hillary Clinton and Albright in separate occasions). There’s the “good” and “just” war; and than there’s the f(ckup war like the one Bush II did. I’m not sure what you thought about Bush I invasion - but I suspect it was brief enough with “allied” support that the killing was basically “ok”.

If we can get on the same page here, Tony, we might be able to have a real debate. My position is that we’ve had endless war. By endless, I don’t mean that the USA has boots on the ground fighting. I mean the US is regularly intervening in the governments of sovereign states. This interventionism is done with much the same intent from the neoliberals and neocons. There is no doubt that there is a certain insanity in the neocon/militarists/Religious-right which is not apparent with the centrist corporatist and neoliberals. But the goal is the same and war is always ON THE TABLE.

Many say the reason Obama is even a candidate for the Dems is because he was percieved an “anti-war” candidate. That was always a deceipt on the part of the Obama campaign and a delusion on the part of the so-called anti-war pro-Obama crowd. Some are waking up; but we have many like the cyrena groupies who are still rowing with the big mO.

Those who think that my argument is because I “don’t understand how American politics work” clearly don’t understand what I’ve been posting or chose to frame it to distortion.

What Barack Obama said before AIPAC was not simply pandering. He went where no other American Prez candidate (though his former mentor Joseph I. Lieberman would be an exception had he stayed in the race long enough in 2004) had gone before - undivided Jerusalem! That is not your every day pandering.

Where I think you make a grave mistake is when you think that this kind of “pandering” will be forgotten when he “becomes POTUS”. He has joined hands, in no uncertain terms, with the centers of power, and that will not go away if he becomes Prez.

For “Lefty” since there is no progressive candidate running in either major party, you can be sure I will not vote for either of what the establishment Parties have given us.

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By cyrena, August 3, 2008 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

GO LEFTY!!!

Some of this bears re-posting..


By Lefty, August 3 at 7:18 pm

•  “…But, that is why I will vote for Obama.  I have absolutely no doubt what Flipper McCain will do. - he will continue the republican policies begun by Ronald Reagan which have transformed America from the greatest, most admired nation in history, to a rogue, corrupt, corporatist, fascist, military junta, well on the path to a bankrupt, third world economy.  With Obama, at least I have the comfort of doubt…”


By Lefty, August 3 at 7:29 pm

•  “They” don’t call me Lefty, Max.  I do!  But, I’m not some sissified pacifist, or an Electronic Jihadist, islamist, fundamentalist, propagandist, arab, imposter, Israel bashing, troll, posing as a liberal, as so many here on Truthdig plainly are.”…… I am a real, socialist, leftist, liberal.  Perhaps you’ve never met one before.

You said it all here Lefty. Max hasn’t ‘met’ a real live socialist, leftist, liberal but it wouldn’t matter if he did, because he wouldn’t recognize it as such. That should be apparent in his failed attempts to pass himself off as the same, when in fact he belongs in the category of the far right-wing, fascist conservatives of the world.

Meantime, I’ve ‘registered’ your concerns about Obama, and I would only point to the appropriateness of your use of the term ‘premature’. There is much about his perceived changes for which we may not have the full view. All things are not always what they appear to be, which is why I too feel some comfort, even in the doubt. Or, maybe I should say BECAUSE of it

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By Tony Wicher, August 3, 2008 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

By Max Shields, August 3 at 4:04 pm #

Tony,

Apologizing for Obama can not dismiss our singular set of crises. People like Brezinski and Rubin hark to the very minds that are squarely in the trajectory (and that’s just two of many Obama is calling on).
—————————————————————————-
Max,

Funny you should mention Rubin. I saw him on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer this morning. It was such a relief to get away from the Britney Spears-Paris Hilton ad which is all anyone could hear about in the MSM for the last few days. It was a very solid, substantial discussion of economic issues. Rubin was talking about restoring the tax structure and the economy of the Clinton years (22 million new jobs, budget surpluses, remember?) and the absolute necessity of a diversified energy independence policy, given that there is currently transferring wealth to oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia at a rate of 700 billion a year, which the U.S. economy cannot sustain. They discussed Obama’s so-called “flip-flop” on offshore oil drilling, and Ruben pointed out that Obama’s acceptance of limited oil drilling, which he is still against, as a part of an overall energy package, does not change his fundamental policy of development of alternate clean energy. It was great to hear that our economy might soon be back in competent hands.

Incidentally, if anyone is interested in some good news, MIT has announced a breakthrough in solar energy. If Obama puts 15 billion a year into development, it will be like Apollo. No one knows how far we might get in 10 years.

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/oxygen-0731.html


Tune in for my next rant: why I like Zbigniew Brzezinski.

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By Tony Wicher, August 3, 2008 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, August 3 at 4:40 pm

Thank God my father, who was a Communist labor organizer in the 30’s, but left the party in 1940 at the time of the Hitler-Stalin pact and volunteered to fight the Nazis, and who called himself a democratic socialist to the end of his life, gave me a better education than that. I learned Marxist theory from him when I was about 5, and I have forgotten more than any of these neo-leftists will ever know.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 3, 2008 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Hello?  Max? Max Headroom? 20 minutes into the past?

More like 40 years into the past. Those 60’s SDS’ers who thought a revolution “by the People” was just around the corner…and they would join with the Panthers “The Revolution WILL put you in the driver’s seat!”

It was exciting, it was thrilling, but it was also wrong, ultimately. Yet, like my father’s old Leftist friends from the 30’s, you, and they knew all the answers, always in neo-Marxist terms, and dismissed anyone who dared raise an objection with “That’s a shitty argument!”

You, like those old guys, some of whom were Lincoln and Washington Brigadiers, lived in a fanatasy world, where Marxists were pure and Stalin was an inexplicable abominiation, but not as bad as people thought.

What can I say?  Enjoy your fantasy, but stop trying to convince the rest of us it’s reality.

Maybe you should follow advice I was recently given—to enroll in a class in critical thinking.

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By Max Shields, August 3, 2008 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

Tony,

This “everybody knows except leftists” stuff is the basis of the on-going apology the Obamaists purport.

Forgiving Obama for all that he says and then demonizing all of what McCain says as if he too should not be given your “forgiveness” being as he is a politician pandering about to his base is at best hypocritical.

Here’s my point this little dialog between McCain and Obama is the dialog is one baked into nearly 100 years of US policy. It creates the glue between the candidates and those who are his advisors and the expectations of those he panders to.

For you, Tony, that little back and forth between Obama and McCain demonstrates critical differences. For me, and others, it demonstrates a complete disconnect with the world.

It is not that policies cannot change and be shaped around unforseen circumstances, but only the blind and uninitiated cannot see the trajectory of US policies over the last 60 years (and more). Obama is speaking the words of that trajectory. These are not words of change, but of the status quo.

What we know is not just what Obama says but who he brings into his inner circle as well as a careful look at his very short history. We can ignore those things as some here do and pretend he’s “really a progressive” who will reveal himself once in office, or we can begin to pay attention and acknowledge the trajectory he is on and how terribly dangerous it is (whether it is he or McCain in the Oval Office).

Some of us realize what the American political system is and has been. I find your lectures on political “pragmaticism” insulting. We all know what pandering is and when its being used. But an astute look at what is being said and how it measures up to our history is where critical thinking begins.

We face a massive set of crises and business as usual will not do. Obama has demonstrated that he is not up to the job (and that’s to be expected since it is systemic and he is a product of the system that’s created the situation).

Apologizing for Obama can not dismiss our singular set of crises. People like Brezinski and Rubin hark to the very minds that are squarely in the trajectory (and that’s just two of many Obama is calling on).

The posting here is less about arguing a case, as it is about mowing over one another with rants and tirades as if that’s going to make one bit of difference.

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By Tony Wicher, August 3, 2008 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

webbie,

Sorry, maybe that wasn’t well said. I’m only trying to invoke the principle to watch what politicians do, not what they say, and to read between the lines. This principle applies to Obama as much as to any other politician that has ever lived. He’s no different in that respect. It’s the nature of the beast. You may say that nobody can be sure about what one reads between the lines, and that is true. We live in an uncertain world, and all one can do is try to excercise one’s best judgment.

In the case of Obama’s speech to AIPAC, it is obvious that any speech given to that crowd was meant to please them. The “undivided Jerusalem” bit was an ill-considered applause line that Obama took back the next day, and all the Zionists said “I knew it”. Hard-core Zionists are going to vote for McCain no matter what Obama says. I believe Obama is really focusing on the progressive Jewish community, which is after all the majority of Jewish-Americans. If he can convince them of his commitment to Israeli security, a commitment which is indeed absolutely genuine as his whole record proves, he can win them over. With solid backing among the majority of Jewish Americans, he will be able to do the tough negotiating to get Israel to make the concessions necessary for a just peace.

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By Tony Wicher, August 3, 2008 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

webbedouin, August 3 at 12:42 pm #


What is equally dangerous in Obama’s uttering is that he might be, and is already, feeling pressured to balance his seemingly soft attitude towards Iraq and Iran by exaggerating his country’s pro-Israel stance in a way that will derail any possibility for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian- Israeli conflict, at least during his term. In fact, ominous signs of that pressure, and his succumbing to it are ample, the last of which was his statement, prior to his visit, that Jerusalem must remain undivided, a position that negates international law and the consistent tradition of various US administrations, including Bush’s.
——————————————————————————
webbedouin,

There is always the danger of Obama compromising too much to the right, I agree. We will see what happens after he is in office. At this time, however it is to be expected that Obama would move to the center in a general election. I think everybody in the world except some anti-Obama leftists like you understands those speeches to AIPAC were pandering of the highest order, and I mean everybody else including every Zionist in this country and the entire population of Israel.

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By cyrena, August 3, 2008 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, August 3 at 3:39 am

ITW your response to the moronic comment from Agree With Max:

(I’m sure the children of Afghanistan can sleep soundly knowing that(?)

•  “I hate moronic remarks like this—but they do reveal the poster’s inability to argue effectively….OK, Max: What makes you think the children of Afghanistan are sleeping soundly now, knowing that the Taliban are on the rise again because WE failed to neutralize them?  Want to know that the Taliban is like? Rent “The Kite Runner” at your local Blockbuster.”

~~~~

Thanks for pointing out that it is moronic comments like this that long ago revealed this poster to be incapable of effective argument.

You make the case perfectly here:

“…Max, you wouldn’t be able to engage in critical thinking if your life depended on it…My proof?  Your life does depend on it, yet you go off on these unsupported rants.  Yet not once do you EVER actually address the facts and logic I supply.  BTW, that is what critical thinking is all about: You use fact and logic, and ignore emotional opinions to reach a conclusion.”

~~~~~~
That sums it up, for Max and all of the others, who do the opposite. They IGNORE fact and logic, and rely *ENTIRELY* on emotional and subjective opinions to reach a conclusion. That conclusion at best keeps them going round and round in the same idiotic circle, or at worse, winds them in a ditch from which they cannot extract themselves.

That would actually be fine with me, (*them* stuck in the ditch) but the far larger danger is that such destructive mentalities can bring the rest of us down with them.

That said, “The Kite Runner”, (excellent film) isn’t going to help him. I’ve come to the conclusion that Max is a paid troll…been thinking that for a really long time.

However, thanks for the recommendation on Fred Hoyle’s “The Black Cloud”. I’ve never read it, so I’m gonna check it out.

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By webbedouin, August 3, 2008 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Obama Joins the Club

The exit of Bush from the White House is already anticipated in the Arab region with sighs of relief. But what is ahead under the next US president; more of the same, regardless of who wins, or change?

True, Obama has promised some degree of withdrawal from Iraq and a level of communication with Iran. But even these promises are ambiguous and can be easily modified to fit political interests and lobby pressures at any time. Any military redeployment in Iraq would, now we are told, be matched with greater military build up in Afghanistan, a sign that the militant mentality that motivated the war hawks in the Bush administration is yet to change; the valuable lesson that bombs don’t bring peace, yet to be heeded.

Even talking to Iran is an indistinct promise. To begin with, various officials in the Bush administration have already been talking to Iran—in less touted meetings, but they have engaged Tehran nonetheless—in matters most pertinent to US, not Israeli, interests (i.e. the Iraq war). Moreover, in what was widely seen as “a shift of policy”, senior US diplomat William Burns joined envoys from China, Russia, France, Britain, Germany and the EU in their talks with Tehran in Geneva 19 July. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad praised US participation and the “respect” the US envoy had shown during the meeting.

Obama’s statements to assure Israel on his proposed talk with Iran are most alarming. He has tirelessly repeated that the “military option” remains on the table to ensure Israel’s security. Isn’t this the exact same policy trademark infused during the Bush administration, which eventually led to the war on Iraq?
(webbie:  Well yeah, and then we enter negotiations with a position that can not be reconciled - Stop enrichment first) The US will exhaust every diplomatic channel, but the “military option” remains on the table. This was the gist of the message repeated by the warmongers of the White House through Bush’s two terms. Does one need any proof of why such an attitude is not reflective of well-intentioned diplomacy?

What is equally dangerous in Obama’s uttering is that he might be, and is already, feeling pressured to balance his seemingly soft attitude towards Iraq and Iran by exaggerating his country’s pro-Israel stance in a way that will derail any possibility for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian- Israeli conflict, at least during his term. In fact, ominous signs of that pressure, and his succumbing to it are ample, the last of which was his statement, prior to his visit, that Jerusalem must remain undivided, a position that negates international law and the consistent tradition of various US administrations, including Bush’s.

More: http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9738

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By cyrena, August 3, 2008 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, August 3 at 3:43 am #

Cyrena:

I’m feeling impish this morning:

“It’s” is the contraction of “It is”.
“Its” is the possessive of the pronoun “It”.  No apostrophe.

It’s going to make me nuts if you don’t use its proper possessive!

~~~~~~

smile

Sorry ITW, I swear I’m not trying to make you nuts. I actually DO know the difference, but I admit that I screw it up all the time. Sometimes I catch it before hand, and sometimes I don’t. If only I could afford to hire an editor or a ‘checker’, or whatever you call them.

I’ll try to be more careful…promise.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 3, 2008 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

Max Headroom’s definition of “Critical Thinking” in only 3 words:

AGREE WITH MAX!

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By Max Shields, August 3, 2008 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, August 3 at 8:13 am #


Each of your posts makes my case. There is so much mis-information in your posts that it would take more time than I’ve got to point out the errors.

And if you want shrill check out Ms cyrena.

Now that’s shrill….

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By Inherit The Wind, August 3, 2008 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

let me see..Max Headroom: 20 minutes into the past…makes compelling arguments.  How does he do it?  He hurls unsupported insults.  Critical thinking? Max, you wouldn’t be able to engage in critical thinking if your life depended on it.

My proof?  Your life does depend on it, yet you go off on these unsupported rants.  Yet not once do you EVER actually address the facts and logic I supply.  BTW, that is what critical thinking is all about: You use fact and logic, and ignore emotional opinions to reach a conclusion.

How does someone, who attacks ad hominem and gets more and more shrill, but never takes on evidence and logic, deem himself an expert on critial thinking?

Here’s a baseline: Read Fred Hoyle’s “The Black Cloud” and go to the chapter called (if I remember correctly) “Close Reasoning”.  There you will get a basic, but perfect lesson in critical thinking.

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By Max Shields, August 3, 2008 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

By webbedouin, August 3 at 7:08 am #

Agree.

At least Tony (“Anything for Obama”) Wick is an honest Dem interventionist (the good war is the one the Dem CIC launches), but Gone with The Wind and cyrena are just plain thick - sorry but they make comments as if they’re still learning the alphabet.

Maybe its Obama maddness that they’ve got. They don’t get US history, are completely unwilling to contemplate that this guy Obama is a continuation of the previous regimes which have given us the ecomomic mess we’re in (and I don’t mean just the Bush guy, I’m talking about Robert Rubin), and an empire eager to go any where and bear any burden (i.e., the white man’s burden) to make sure the US reins supreme.

Obama is a classic case of Wilsonianism, which begat neconservativism and its twin neoliberalism. This is what Chalmers Johnson calls The Sorrows of Empires.

Johnson posts here as does Chris Hedges - two guys that really get it - and these Obamaboobs (Gone and Cy) think you and me are the exceptions on TD. Even Scheer is getting it with each of his articles.

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By webbedouin, August 3, 2008 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

Two Obamalists, no waiting.

Oh yeah as President of America, co-opted by Wall Street & the Military Industrial Entertainment complex, (Amrica’s only funtioning industry) Obama will be less militaristic than shrub. 

Look i have this bridge in New York that i’d like to sell…

Are you two volunteers or are you paid.  What does it take to get you two to support something all day, every day?
Shills…

Just the fact that Obama is sucking up to the world’s most repressive government is a real bad sign.  Only one of many.

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By Max Shields, August 3, 2008 at 6:17 am Link to this comment

Gone with the Wind and cyrena,

GWTW, is there a school near your that teaches critical thinking? If so, run like hell to it and enroll.

cyrena, were you once a school yard bully, you know the kind that waits for a buddy to start pushing and you get behind while he/she pushes the kid over you?

I don’t think the school I’ve suggested is the best place for your to start.

Just wondering.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 3, 2008 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:

I’m feeling impish this morning:

“It’s” is the contraction of “It is”.
“Its” is the possessive of the pronoun “It”.  No apostrophe.

It’s going to make me nuts if you don’t use its proper possessive!

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By Inherit The Wind, August 3, 2008 at 4:39 am Link to this comment

Max Shields, August 2 at 8:25 pm #

“Obama is not a pacifist, but he is far less militaristic than Bush, and under an Obama administration you will see a far less militaristic foreign policy than you do now.”

I’m sure the children of Afghanistan can sleep soundly knowing that(?)
****************************************************

I hate moronic remarks like this—but they do reveal the poster’s inability to argue effectively. 

OK, Max: What makes you think the children of Afghanistan are sleeping soundly now, knowing that the Taliban are on the rise again because WE failed to neutralize them?  Want to know that the Taliban is like? Rent “The Kite Runner” at your local Blockbuster.

We were able to do in Afghanistan what nobody else was able to do.  Why? Because 90% of the people want to live in a peaceful, free society. They don’t want to live under the Taliban, but they don’t want to live under warlords either.

In case you forgot, just WEEKS before 9/11, the Taliban assassinated the leader of the most successful opposition force, up North, using a suicidal maniac posing as a reporter.

We WOULD have succeeded had not the jackass in the WH depleted the forces in Afghanistan for his illegal, badly planned Iraqi caper.  Success in Afghanistan and no Iraq war would have given Bush and the Re-thugs a HUGE advantage…But His Incompetence blew it.

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By cyrena, August 3, 2008 at 3:03 am Link to this comment

Max the Maximum bullshit artist…

Tony, being far more diplomatic than I have the patience for, says this:

•  “Our disagreement with you is your assumption that things won’t be different when Obama is in office. I think they will.”

That isn’t my *only* disagreement with you. Nope, it’s your totally arrogant and pompous attitude, as well as your patronizing boorish manner of talking down to everyone who you want to somehow silence and demean or dismiss, telling us stuff that you think nobody else in the world knows.

Like this:

•  “..No, the US has been damned lucky on the home front. The vast majority of our wars, conficts, gunboat diplomacy, our CIA activities throughout the world have been based on Exceptionalism.”

Well DUH Max. You go on and on and on, in each and every single post, telling us all about Imperialist America, as if we can’t read history books and analyze the events in their proper context, just as well as anybody else. And you accuse ME of going on and on about Obama? The truth is Maximum Asshole, if I ran this text through a program, even the simplest of them, we’d come to learn that it is you and your fellow Obama hate-mongers who reference him FAR, FAR more frequently that those of us who do in fact support his candidacy, even when we don’t fully ‘support’ each and every decision or position that he ‘appears’ to take. And as much as you make claims to a grasp of nuance and critical thinking you have NO capacity for either.

This is ALL *OLD* stuff Max. WE KNOW what’s going on, and what HAS gone on, in the history of the US and even the larger world, specifically as we become more and more interconnected. So, you just rattle off this bullshit just to rattle it off, and basically harass other well intended people.

You’re full of shit Max, but we’ve figured that out as well.

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By Genghis, August 3, 2008 at 12:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whoever wins the election will serve the third term of Bush. Both Obama and McCain are WORSE militarily than Bush, both wanting to INCREASE the military and to ESCALATE wars.  Obama’s policy for ending the war in Iraq is to continue it, so he won’t loss it while president. He explicitly,if obliquely stated, intends to keep hundreds of thousands of American gunmen in Iraq, military, intelligence and Contractors.

The economic and military implications for this strategy require a police state at home.  So Obama and most Dem Senators voted for the US power system lawlessly spying on the American people.  The legal system has been partisanized, with Gop judges, proscecutors and police targeting Dems, both parties targeting radicals.

During the next decade it is necessary to mobilize the US population.  This can be done most effectively by backing Cynthia McKinney during the election, especially in safe states.  If Obama has a large lead in a state, a vote for McKinney will tend to force Obama left, just as Norman Thomas and his fake socialist party forced Roosevelt left.

And it must be recognized as the American Superpower loses power in the world arena, it is going to attack the American population and people of the world.

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By cyrena, August 2, 2008 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

By Max Shields, August 2 at 12:49 pm
cyrena, cyrena, cyrena…
So, glad you did some research.
I’m not claiming that there are not atrocities going on in Darfur. But, legally, it is not genocide. Genocide is a legal term.
Maybe this will provide you with some information in that regard:
~~~~~~
This is funny Max. I’ve just forwarded it to several of my colleagues and advisors. They’ll all be glad to know that you recognized I’d done ‘some research’. I guess you could say that as a PhD candidate and scholar of International Relations and Comparative Law, I’ve done a little bit of that. wink And well, Genocide just happens to be one of my “specialties”, so yeah, I’m pretty familiar with the legal complexities of the Crime, it’s prevention, and it’s punishment. Consequently, (and as a scholar) I’ve written extensively on it myself. I would direct you to those articles and published work, except that I don’t want my professional (and given legal name) associated on this public blog with my ID as Cyrena. There are too many crazies out there, and so I’ve learned my lesson the hard way on that. Cyrena was my daughter’s name. She passed away many years ago, and so she is beyond that sort of harm. My academic work is in my own name, and I don’t want you or anyone else to make that connection. So, unless or until I feel like copying and pasting portions of that work here, (and it’s far too lengthy and extensive for an average blog post anyway) you’ll just have to trust that I know what I’m talking about –at least in terms of International Law and Human Rights Law- or…not. It really doesn’t matter to me, since I’m not working for you or TD, or collecting any salary. I’m glad to share the information, because obviously, it is my passion. Scholars and academics generally have a passion for their work, or they wouldn’t be doing it. That strikes me as a given point, even for someone having undergone a lobotomy.

So yes, I’m acutely aware of the legal complexities in the Crimes of genocide. The most complicated of them is the issue of State sovereignty, which has always been at the top of the chain of priorities in the context of the rule of law in International affairs. To put it more simply, 98% of the time, the prevention of genocide, which *IS* an obligation under the terms and conditions of the Treaty, usually involves violating one law (state sovereignty) to uphold another; the obligation to stop/prevent/punish the crime of Genocide. And yes, the slaughter in Darfur ABSOLUTELY DOES meet the legal criterion for that crime. For you to suggest otherwise means that you don’t know what you’re talking about, and you are absolutely WRONG.

As far as what the Dick Bush totalitarian dictatorship is doing right here in my own country, *that* wasn’t the question, and your straw man associations don’t play with me. Of COURSE they are in violation of multiple laws in the perpetration of murder against our own citizens, as well as those around the globe. That TOO is a given, and wasn’t in the argument about the obligation that a future president willing to follow the rule of law will, and must consider.

We were discussing your obscene and callous response to Obama’s call for action to stop the genocide in Darfur, and I’m telling you, it is the law. THAT is the change that Obama will bring to a nation that has been under the control of ruthless criminals who have ignored both domestic and international law everywhere they can find to violate it.

I just remembered, I do have a paper around here somewhere that has not been published. I’ll remove my name and other personal info and post it when I can.

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By Max Shields, August 2, 2008 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

“Obama is not a pacifist, but he is far less militaristic than Bush, and under an Obama administration you will see a far less militaristic foreign policy than you do now.”

I’m sure the children of Afghanistan can sleep soundly knowing that(?)!

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

Re Max Shields, August 2 at 7:48 pm

Max,

Obama is not a pacifist, but he is far less militaristic than Bush, and under an Obama administration you will see a far less militaristic foreign policy than you do now. I am confident of this, although nothing in this world is certain. We shall see who is right over the next few years. I think we have finished this discussion for now.

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By Max Shields, August 2, 2008 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, August 2 at 6:36 pm #

Obama is not changing a “mindset”. He’s of the same mindset that got us into Iraq.

Again, the problem with the the arguments you keep presenting for Obama is that they are circular. It’s only because he hasn’t been elected president that you can ignore pretty much everything he says regarding Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

Instead you dwell on platitudes like “we need to change mindsets”. What the hell does that mean? If you juxtaposition that statement with his:  need to escalate the war/occupation in Afghanistan, essentially open a new front in Pakistan, keep a 50,000 residual force in Iraq along with multiple bases, leave military (including nuke options) on the table regarding Iran, the only “mindset” change is for the 60% of the American people to change their desire to leave this madness and bring the troops home TO “maybe Bush had it right”.

Obama is a militarist. Know it now so you can be prepared for what his marching orders are. He’s
told you, Tony, and you either don’t care, or aren’t listening.

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, August 2 at 7:08 pm #

9) Barack Obama and giant Dem sweep is the ONLY hope this country has to return to a free democratic nation.  We aren’t one now, but the door is still open to return to it.  We have no other choice.
—————————————————————————-
I’m with you, ITW. We shall overrun!

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

Re Inherit The Wind, August 2 at 7:08 pm #

3) The first Iraq war was to protect one evil dictatorship (Kuwait’s Al Sabah) from a worse one (Saddam Hussein).  I’m still not sure we should have been there, but at least Poppy Bush had a TRUE international coalition and the wisdom to NOT overthrow Saddam, but leave him in power in a weakened state. I thought at the time Bush should have finished Saddam off. It is the one and only time I believe that a Republican President (after Ike) was right and I was wrong.
—————————————————————————-
ITW,

We think alike. I was against the first Iraq war also, but then, once we were in there, I also thought Bush I should have “finished the job”. Guess what, I was wrong! Wiser heads prevailed in the Bush I adminstration. Not so Bush II.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 2, 2008 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

I can’t get my head around all these totally absurd arguments.

1) All wars are unjustified.  But to assume that means the the one ATTACKED is unjustified in counter-attacking is the height of cowardice and moral bankruptcy.

2) Viet Nam was a terrible and unjust war, and I, as a kid of 10, was in DC in anti-war protests in 1965 (Saw Joan Baez play off the back of truck).

3) The first Iraq war was to protect one evil dictatorship (Kuwait’s Al Sabah) from a worse one (Saddam Hussein).  I’m still not sure we should have been there, but at least Poppy Bush had a TRUE international coalition and the wisdom to NOT overthrow Saddam, but leave him in power in a weakened state. I thought at the time Bush should have finished Saddam off. It is the one and only time I believe that a Republican President (after Ike) was right and I was wrong.

4) The Bosnian War was a NATO coalition, again sanctioned by more than the President and Congress, but by real powers in the world.  It was executed (militarily) perfectly, because not one American service person died.  Genl. Wes Clark engineered that.  The slaughter HAD to stop.  I have talked with Kosovo Albanians who fought in that war and they said “When NATO came in, I just put down my gun!”

5) I believe the Afghan invasion was justified as we were attacked on 9/11 by an organization that was fully embraced by the Taliban.  Had Wesley Clark been in charge, and allowed a free hand, that war would be over and Afghanistan would be a free nation.  But Bush pulled the resources out for his illegal Iraq 2 caper.  I buy it because I don’t buy any of the conspiracy horseshit regularly espoused here at TruthDig—especially the shit that Israel attacked us—which was circulating on Moslem/Arab fundamentalist websites within DAYS of th 9/11.

6) I TOTALLY opposed the 2nd Iraq War, couldn’t believe that anyone bought the Bush White House lies, and couldn’t believe that EVEN THOUGH they did it, they weren’t smart enough to follow the military experts’ advice (unlike Clinton in Jugoslavia or Bush 41 in Iraq 1).

7) Getting out of Iraq isn’t as easy getting in was.  But Barack Obama is advocating working with the (nominal) Iraq government and leaving when Iraqis say we should leave.  That’s how you turn an invasion and occupation back into support and aid—let THEM call the shots of when we leave.

8) Darfur isn’t complicated. It’s genocide by murder and rape and it’s very simple. Bashir wants to wipe out the Blacks in Southern Sudan and replace them with Arabs, and will murder millions to do so.  The only complication is that the Chinese are making too much fucking money there and oppose any efforts to stop the slaughter (after all, the Chinese government is one of the most racist in the world).

9) Barack Obama and giant Dem sweep is the ONLY hope this country has to return to a free democratic nation.  We aren’t one now, but the door is still open to return to it.  We have no other choice.

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

Correction. I left out the word “less” in my previous post:

Obama has said he wants to end the mindset that leads to war. That means serious negotiations with the objective of avoiding war. That means a policy with LESS imperialist domination and GREATER support for international law and human rights. Again it is a matter of degree, not an absolute either-or.

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

Re Outraged, August 2 at 2:20 pm #


Part 1
We seem to keep waging war, waging war and waging war and it never ends.  So we can sit and blather about one war over the other, or specific tactics which are utilized, yet..the war waging ISN’T ENDING.  It is obvious McCain hasn’t any intent to do this, and Obama is increasingly following this same path.
——————————————————————————
Obama has said he wants to end the mindset that leads to war. That means serious negotiations with the objective of avoiding war. That means a policy with imperialist domination and more policy of support for international law and human rights. Again it is a matter of degree, not an absolute either-or.
——————————————————————————-
From William Blum:

“The engine of American foreign policy has been fueled not by a devotion to any kind of morality, but rather by the necessity to serve other imperatives…
——————————————————————————-
Sorry to sound like a broken record, but American foreign policy like that of other countries is fueled by a variegated mixture of forces among which is actual morality. The question is how much morality is really involved, and how much is propaganda jusifying imperialist domination. In the case of the psychopathic Bush administration it’s 100% propaganda, zero percent actual morality. With Obama, I believe there will be some genuine concern for human rights.
——————————————————————————
“Afghanistan, 1979-92:
Everyone knows of the unbelievable repression of women in Afghanistan, carried out by Islamic fundamentalists, even before the Taliban. But how many people know that during the late 1970s and most of the 1980s, Afghanistan had a government committed to bringing the incredibly backward nation into the 20th century, including giving women equal rights?
—————————————————————————-
Yup, I do know this. The DRA (Democratic Republic of Afghanistan) was the best government Afghanistan ever had. 
——————————————————————————
What happened, however, is that the United States poured billions of dollars into waging a terrible war against this government, simply because it was supported by the Soviet Union. Prior to this, CIA operations had knowingly increased the probability of a Soviet intervention, which is what occurred. In the end, the United States won, and the women, and the rest of Afghanistan, lost. More than a million dead, three million disabled, five million refugees, in total about half the population.”
——————————————————————————-
Yup, I don’t dispute any of this. But I believe that the U.S. cannot just go home now, but help the Afghan people to restore a functioning economy. Anything like isolationism is really not an option in today’s world. 
—————————————————————————
> This was also a major factor in bringing the Soviet Union to its knees economically. So what will this do to us…?  In our current state of economic calamity, this is like a death wish.  Aside from being murderous, its just plain stupid from even a self-centered perspective!
—————————————————————————-
If we get bogged down in Afghanistan like the Soviets did, that’s very true. Which is one reason why I am happy to see Brzezinski on Obama’s team. It was Zbig who provoked the Soviets to intervene in Afghanistan. Did you notice what he said the other day, that the last thing he wants is for the U.S. to get bogged down in Afghanistan like the Soviets? I’m sure it is. That’s why he just left Afghanistan to its own devices back in 1992 after the Soviet Union withdrew. I’m sure he didn’t anticipate what a pain in the ass it would turn out to be. Let’s see if he can make amends.

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By Outraged, August 2, 2008 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

Part 2

Juan Cole at Salon highlights some of the realities of becoming engaged in Afghanistan.

“Nor is it at all clear that sending more U.S. troops to southern Afghanistan can resolve the problem of the resurgence of the Taliban there. American and NATO search-and-destroy missions alienate the local population and fuel, rather than quench, the insurgency. Resentment over U.S. airstrikes on innocent civilians and wedding parties is growing. Brazen attacks on U.S. forward bases and on institutions such as the prison in the southern city of Kandahar are becoming more frequent. To be sure, Obama advocates combining counterinsurgency military operations with development aid and attention to resolving the problem of poppy cultivation. (Afghan poppies are turned into heroin for the European market, and the profits have fueled some of the Taliban’s resurgence.) Stepped-up military action, however, is still the central component of his plan.

Before he jumps into Afghanistan with both feet, Obama would be well advised to consult with another group of officers. They are the veterans of the Russian campaign in Afghanistan. Russian officers caution that Afghans cannot be conquered, as the Soviets attempted to do in the 1980s with nearly twice as many troops as NATO and the U.S. now have in the country, and with three times the number of Afghan troops as Karzai can deploy. Afghanistan never fell to the British or Russian empires at the height of the age of colonialism. Conquering the tribal forces of a vast, rugged, thinly populated country proved beyond their powers. It may also well prove beyond the powers even of the energetic and charismatic Obama. In Iraq, he is listening to what the Iraqis want. In Pakistan, he is simply dictating policy in a somewhat bellicose fashion, and ignoring the wishes of those moderate parties whose election he lauded last February.”

This same article also illuminates the hypocrisy of Obama’s stance regarding Pakistan:

“The tribal Pashtuns of the FATA no man’s land, a third of which is classified as “inaccessible” by the Pakistani government, have sometimes given shelter to al-Qaida or Afghan Taliban militants. Some of the Pashtun tribesmen themselves have turned militant, and have been responsible for suicide bombings at police checkpoints inside Pakistan. They are also accused of attacking targets across the border in Afghanistan and of giving refuge to Afghan Taliban who conduct cross-border raids.

The governor of the North-West Frontier province, Owais Ghani, immediately spoke out against Obama, saying that the senator’s remarks had the effect of undermining the new civilian government elected last February. Ghani warned that a U.S. incursion into the northwestern tribal areas would have “disastrous” consequences for the globe….

It continues:
“.... Obama’s aggressive stance, on the other hand, could be counterproductive. The Illinois senator had praised the Pakistani elections of last February, issuing a statement the next day saying, “Yesterday, a moderate majority of the Pakistani people made their voices heard, and chose a new direction.” He criticized the Bush administration, saying U.S. interests would be better served by “advancing the interests of the Pakistani people, not just Pakistan’s president.”

Yet the parties elected in February in Pakistan are precisely the ones demanding negotiations with the tribes and militants of the northwest, rather than frontal military assaults. Indeed, it is the Bush administration that has pushed for military strikes in the FATA areas. Obama will have to decide whether he wants to risk undermining the elected government and perhaps increasing the power of the military by continuing to insist loudly and publicly on unilateral U.S. attacks on Pakistani territory.”

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/07/23/obama/

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By Outraged, August 2, 2008 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

Part 1
We seem to keep waging war, waging war and waging war and it never ends.  So we can sit and blather about one war over the other, or specific tactics which are utilized, yet..the war waging ISN’T ENDING.  It is obvious McCain hasn’t any intent to do this, and Obama is increasingly following this same path.

From William Blum:

“The engine of American foreign policy has been fueled not by a devotion to any kind of morality, but rather by the necessity to serve other imperatives, which can be summarized as follows:

* making the world safe for American corporations;
* enhancing the financial statements of defense contractors at home who have contributed generously to members of congress;
* preventing the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model;
* extending political and economic hegemony over as wide an area as possible, as befits a “great power.”

This in the name of fighting a supposed moral crusade against what cold warriors convinced themselves, and the American people, was the existence of an evil International Communist Conspiracy, which in fact never existed, evil or not.

The United States carried out extremely serious interventions into MORE THAN 70 NATIONS IN THIS PERIOD.” (emphasis mine)

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/US_Interventions_WBlumZ.html

>And what about Afghanistan…?  Haven’t we done enough damage already..?

Also, from William Blum’s page:

“Afghanistan, 1979-92:
Everyone knows of the unbelievable repression of women in Afghanistan, carried out by Islamic fundamentalists, even before the Taliban. But how many people know that during the late 1970s and most of the 1980s, Afghanistan had a government committed to bringing the incredibly backward nation into the 20th century, including giving women equal rights? What happened, however, is that the United States poured billions of dollars into waging a terrible war against this government, simply because it was supported by the Soviet Union. Prior to this, CIA operations had knowingly increased the probability of a Soviet intervention, which is what occurred. In the end, the United States won, and the women, and the rest of Afghanistan, lost. More than a million dead, three million disabled, five million refugees, in total about half the population.”

>How has this affected the women of Afghanistan…? (3 1/2min)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du_ELteelew

> This was also a major factor in bringing the Soviet Union to its knees economically. So what will this do to us…?  In our current state of economic calamity, this is like a death wish.  Aside from being murderous, its just plain stupid from even a self-centered perspective!

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By Max Shields, August 2, 2008 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

By Lefty, August 2 at 12:53 pm #


I once knew a guy named Lucky. You know why they called him Lucky? Because he was the unluckiest guy you’d ever want to meet.

I’d say calling you “Lefty” is pretty much the same thing. (Your ability to read seems to reflect the downward spiral of our educational system, perhaps it explains your not knowing left from right as well.

Have a good life, buddy.

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By Max Shields, August 2, 2008 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, August 2 at 1:06 pm #


I never said you outwardly deny it. But when you come out with your schemes to invade (intervene) in Darfur or Pakistan or Afghanistan (or Bosnia), you are sanctioning murder.

That may not be clear to you or cyrena because you think America can do good if it just points its weapons in the “right direction”.

My argument is NO. Murder is murder. There is no just or good war/murder. There may be those rare occasions when self-defense is called for; but give me a real example of US defending the homeland. WWII? After we literally declared war on Japan through our steel embargo, yes they bombed Pearl Harbor - it is only somewhat arguable that US got in because of that…but we were poking around with sinking German ships before that.

9/11? We all know that was terrorism (if it was an inside job, I don’t know); but if it was terrorism (we’ll stick to that argument for now) it clearly was not an attack that differs from Timothy McVee, at least in intent and outcome. So, it clearly was not and is not an act of war by any true definition.

No, the US has been damned lucky on the home front. The vast majority of our wars, conficts, gunboat diplomacy, our CIA activities throughout the world have been based on Exceptionalism. Whether it was A. Jackson slaughtering native Americans, or Wilson to butcher Germans (with essentially no cause - oh yea, the rational - to put the US on the world stage), or Teddy Roosevelt in Panama and Philipines, or Truman in Korea (can’t forget the infamous a-bomb of Japanese civilians now can we - those were inhuman yellow yaps), and than Kennedy (who didn’t live long enough to fully exploit his policies in Latin America), LBJ and Vietnam which became IndoChina (3.5 million killed) under Nixon, and the thousand killed in Southeast Asia under Ford (who was in an out of office before he could kill any more) and then Carter (who was basically a descent man with a very bad Security Advisor and some folks who ended up being down right neoconish - think Afghanistan I), than Reagan the ultimate killing machine in Central America (that story is too gruesome to post), and of course Clinton bombing Somolia and Iraq on a regular basis with over a million in Iraq dead due to the sanctions and infrastructure destruction; and of course the Monica Lewinsky/Bosnia war - thousands of innocent killed from 10,000 feet on high (US/NATO - not a scratch); and we know the story of Georgie who botched the job soooooo bad. If only he had some of Reagan and Clinton’s people - perhaps an Ollie North would have helped but Noooo. Georgie just couldn’t get in and out fast enough.

Now we got your boy, Obama Rama. You say he’s about change. If it don’t look like change, don’t smell like change, don’t taste like change…guess what?

That’s a very abbreviated tale Tony.

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Re Max Shields, August 2 at 12:49 pm #

Cyrena YOU and ME, and TONY, AND ROBERT live in a country that sanctions the KILLING of innocent children and has perpetuated that killing directly as well as indirectly.
—————————————————————————-
So, do any of us deny this? Certainly not! Do all of us condemn the Bush Administration as international criminals? We sure do! Many, if not most Obama supporters would agree also. Our disagreement with you is your assumption that things won’t be different when Obama is in office. I think they will. I think we will see a major turnaround in both domestic and foreign policy. Domestically we will see some form of government subsidized universal care, a serious policy of energy independence and many other forms of progress. Internationally, we will surely see a policy that is less imperialist and more based on international law and the doctrine of universal human rights. Apparently, you think my hopes are pipe dreams. We shall see. But don’t hold Obama responsible for the sins of Bush. At least not yet.

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By Max Shields, August 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

cyrena, cyrena, cyrena…

So, glad you did some research.

I’m not claiming that there are not atrocities going on in Darfur. But, legally, it is not genocide. Genocide is a legal term.

Maybe this will provide you with some information in that regard:
http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_1586.shtml

But my larger point was that Darfur is very complex and does not have the clarity as the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by the US, and daily killing of Palestines by IDF. Israel regularly, and Human Rights Watch has repeatedly verified, air-raided Palestinian refugee camps and infrastructure, regularly shot and killed civilians, many children. This vicious cycle of killing is sanctioned by the US government. How? Because the many UN resolutions which have claimed Israel a renegade state guilty of acts against humanity, is VETOED by the US in the Security Council so no action is taken. Israel is a client state of the US and therefore can murder AT WILL!!

Cyrena YOU and ME, and TONY, AND ROBERT live in a country that sanctions the KILLING of innocent children and has perpetuated that killing directly as well as indirectly.

And you have the GALL to talk about what’s going on in Darfur!!!???

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Max,

I forgot to say that I currently vehemently oppose military action against Iran as nothing but a furthering of the imperialist Bush policy of military conquest of the Middle East. So at least we’re on the same side there. The thing is, I’m doing it as an Obama supporter who hopes and prays that he will keep his word to be a tough negotiator instead of a warmonger. We don’t know for sure, but your opposition to Obama at this point helps a guaranteed imperialist warmonger, McCain.

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By Max Shields, August 2, 2008 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, August 2 at 10:44 am #

Of course Vietnam, Iraq invasions were imperialistic. So we agree.

I do find your straight forwardness refreshing.

You make a clear, and however disagreeable it is, case. Few Obama supporters are as frank as you are. (Posters like Canning, the intellectual rationalist, and cyrena the “if I post enough maybe people will agree with my Obama worship”)

I’ve pretty much made my case. Brits used “humanitarism” to build a bloody imperialist empire. They knew best; the brown and black man were little more than beasts to be civilized. “The Problem from Hell” Samantha Powers serves yours and Obama’s view very well.

It is just as destructive. I don’t buy the “Just war” stuff. Terrible intellectual blather that seems to fall nicely into the neocons ledger, but without seeming so….unseemly.

You, Tony, probably you see Brezinsky as okey dokey. The audacity, the arrogance behind Brezinskyism is Wilsonian to be sure. We’ve had 8 years of Wilsonism without the smooth talk.

Here’s what going on in yours and Obama’s “good war” (note NATO is a partner in the killing):

“The US and its allies are dropping record numbers of bombs on Afghanistan. This is not news. In the first half of this year, 1,853 bombs were dropped: more than all the bombs of 2006 and most of 2007. “The most frequently used bombs,” the Air Force Times reports, “are the 500lb and 2,000lb satellite-guided. . . ” Without this one-sided onslaught, the resurgence of the Taliban, it is clear, might not have happened. Even Hamid Karzai, America’s and Britain’s puppet, has said so. The presence and the aggression of foreigners have all but united a resistance that now includes former warlords once on the CIA’s payroll.”

This comes from an article from one of the top jounalist - John Pilgar called: “Obama, The Prince of Switch-and-Bait”...
Take a look. It gets to the heart of it.

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/07/26/10622/

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By cyrena, August 2, 2008 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

“Genocide is defined in the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly fifty years ago, on December 9, 1948. For a time, it was the forgotten convention, drafted in the aftermath of the Holocaust but then relegated to obscurity as the human rights movement focused on more “modern” atrocities: apartheid, torture, disappearances. Events in Rwanda and Bosnia have rehabilitated the Convention, whose application and interpretation have become matters for urgent attention.”

(continues)
“In the half-century since the convention’s adoption, many of the difficult questions concerning genocide have remained unanswered. What groups are protected by the convention? Does it cover political, social and gender groups, as well as racial and ethnic groups? And just how are racial and ethnic groups defined, according to the precise legal requirements of criminal prosecutions? What are states required to do when genocide offenders are found on their territory? Does the obligation to prevent genocide include a duty to intervene, even militarily, if the crime is being committed?”

“The Crime Without a Name”
“The destruction of ethnic groups has marred the progress of human history almost from its beginnings. There are reports of genocide-like massacres in the writings of the ancient Greeks and in the history of the Middle Ages. Indigenous populations in the Western Hemisphere, Africa, and elsewhere were sometimes slated for elimination by their “discovers” or their colonizers. But ethnic massacre truly seems to have flourished in the twentieth century.’
Continues at the link

http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr990107.html


Here’s the Full Text of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The USA (that’s US) is a signatory to this International Treaty

http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/p_genoci.htm

Darfur is a full blown and on-going event of genocide, not unlike Rwanda, Chile, Bosnia, and other events. This Convention/Treat was undertaken as a result of the heinous crimes of the Holocaust, as well as the Armenian Genocide. For reasons too numerous to articulate here, the world community has failed in the prevention requirement of this treaty.

Hopefully, Obama WILL address it as soon as he is inaugurated, and I’m convinced that the UN and/or other nations will assist.

One would like to believe that we learned our lessons after ignoring the Rwandan genocide, as Bill Clinton later apologized so profusely for missing. But, Dick Bush obviously could not care a whit about the millions massacred in any place without oil, any more than they do about the ones massacred in places where the civilians are in the way of the oil that he needs to get to.

http://www.preventgenocide.org/law/convention/

Genocide is the one International Law that clearly defines the conditions upon which we are OBLIGATED to intervene, on behalf of the people being slaughtered.

Yeah, yeah, yeah Max, we know you don’t care about any of this. Such a paradox from a guy who complains about the atrocity of the death penalty. Could your concern of the death penalty only be related to the fact that some of your role models, (Timothy McVeigh, Ted Bundy) have been subjected to it?  How about your role model David Koresh of the Wacky Waco Branch Davidians? He didn’t get the death penalty, he blew up himself and all of his cult followers along with him.

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Max,

You should at least give me credit for having vehemently opposed the Vietnam War, Iraq I, and Iraq II from the beginning. Those wars I immediately identified as imperialist and I was out there demonsrating. I really do have strongly peaceful instincts, but I am an internationalist. Now I know very well that Wilsonian internationalism has been used as a justification for imperialist military actions since the days of Wilson. Bush justifies his invasion of Iraq calling it “spreading freedom and democracy” and this is sheer phoniness. But it still does not follow that all internationalism is such. To strengthen international law and international institutions such as the U.N. is absolutely necessary to the progress of humanity on this planet. So I distinguish between military actions that are imperialist and those which are internationalist.

Of course, in reality nothing is pure. Imperialism may not be completely eliminated but it can certainly be made more or less benign. I suppose this disclaimer sounds cynical to you, and it is. Sometime cynics are right, too.

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By Max Shields, August 2, 2008 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, August 2 at 10:05 am #


“Max,

Let me add I originally supported the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, which was also internationally sanctioned, and that I would support military intervention in Darfur if it was internationally sanctioned as well. What I would like to see in both Afghanistan and Dafur is a much greater role played by troops from other countries, especially Muslim countries, but also NATO countries - you know, peaceful, progressive democracies like the Netherlands, or Germany. If the United Nations is not too broken at this point and can be fixed, it should be done under U.N. auspicies.”

First, Tony I appreciate your honesty, while I vehmently disagree with your politics and sense of humanity.

Your posts reads like that of the UK Imperialist and their “white man’s burden” reason for colonizing the dark savage world. I know you’re not saying that but that’s precisely what it boils down to.

I think just about every war we’ve instigated were done for reasons just like yours. War and intervention is always brutal; but the kind of warring you’re talking about is racist to boot.

Why should Sudan be like Germany? or Nigeria like the Netherlands?

Who are you to be supporting military interventionism by ANYONE to make this nations into something YOU want.

You see, Tony, your post is precisely what imperialism and the murderous wars it creates is about.

Your support of Obama makes my case.

In fact, Tony, you and the neocons are very close, except they are not as apt to get NATO involved, but that’s about the only substantive difference.

And that MUST END!!!!

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

By Max Shields, August 2 at 9:48 am #


I’m not talking about Nader. I’m talking about Obama. You, Tony, and your clan have had it your way for decades.
——————————————————————————
Max,

Boy, that’s news to me! I have been suffering miserably for more than 40 years of republicanism, reaction and ruin, a steady downhill slide of everything that once made this country great, a slide that neither the Carter nor the Clinton administration was able to do more than slow. With Bush II we went off a cliff. I regard the Obama candidacy as the best chance to make any real political and social progress in this country and the world since 1968. So as I said, we shall see who is right and who is wrong about Obama.

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Max,

Let me add I originally supported the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, which was also internationally sanctioned, and that I would support military intervention in Darfur if it was internationally sanctioned as well. What I would like to see in both Afghanistan and Dafur is a much greater role played by troops from other countries, especially Muslim countries, but also NATO countries - you know, peaceful, progressive democracies like the Netherlands, or Germany. If the United Nations is not too broken at this point and can be fixed, it should be done under U.N. auspicies.

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By Max Shields, August 2, 2008 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, August 2 at 9:13 am #

It’s clear you didn’t read what I said.

You’re a Dem, Tony, which means critical thinking is defined by what the Repugs say.

That’s the world we’ve been living in that NEEDS to CHANGE.

That’s the CHANGE WE NEED TO BE. Not the changewashing that Obama’s been peddling.

I’m not talking about Nader. I’m talking about Obama. You, Tony, and your clan have had it your way for decades.

We need real change. Not your softer-war crap. Obama is a dud. I have no use for people who steal slogans to get themselves elected. But again, Obama is really the worse of the lot the Dems had to pick from.

He shows that each and every day. You fan(antics) are the only ones who miss the obvious - but in your case Tony I do think Obama and his “good war” etc. is where you’re coming from. I think you like his AIPAC speech. I think you pretty much like the fact that he’s a DLCer, a neoliberal on trade, pro-death penalty, that that he’s willing to use force to get US way…and more of the war party talk.

You see Tony, unlike some folks that are just delusional, you like the idea that Obama is pretty much about US dominance in the world. But you think he’ll give it a new more friendly face. You’re like those conservatives that don’t have a dog in the fight because they see that Obama would be fine if it means McCain loses.

So, let’s keep Nader and McKinney and Barr out of this. Let’s just deal with what this thread is about: Obama.

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By cyrena, August 2, 2008 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

Re:By Rus7355, August 2 at 6:30 am

Part 1 of 2

•  “I leave it to those who speculate about how many angels can dance on the point of a pin to define the difference between a “timetable” and a “time horizon.”

This one is relatively simple Rus. (doesn’t even require angels dancing on points of pins). A decent dictionary would be useful, but I can help you out on this one.

A time table is a specific plan for whatever it is that one is planning. In this case, X number of troops over X period of time, from X specific locations. Common stuff for any person involved in the logistics of any operation. (Human resource planners do it every day, and they record it all quite simply) Of course variables are figured in as well, and it this case, the variables are the conditions on the ground, which even you included in your copied text here. (maybe you didn’t intend to?)

A HORIZON, on the other hand, is ENDLESS. That’s what “horizons’ are. In other words…OPEN ENDED.

•  “..This happy convergence is a product of the enormous success of the troop surge, of which Mr. McCain was an early supporter and which Mr. Obama opposed. Mr. McCain was right. Mr. Obama was wrong…”

Happy convergence Rus?? I guess that would be kind of relative, eh? How many MORE dead troops since the surge?

According to the Iraq Casualties Site, these are the yearly numbers of death of US military personnel in Iraq:

Year     US Deaths
2003     486
2004     849
2005     846
2006     822
2007     832

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/iraq-casualties.htm
.
Here’s more:

http://icasualties.org/oif/


Juan Cole goes on to address some of the reasons why troops deaths did finally decline in October of 2007, even though it was still a far deadlier year than 2006, (and we’re just on ‘troop’ so far..not the millions of civilians)

First of all, the assertion that US troop deaths have fallen is extremely misleading. In fact, It is only late October and already more US troops were killed in Iraq in 2007 than in all of 2006. Indeed, 2007 will almost certainly hold the record for the year of the most US military deaths since the war began.

It is, however, not clear why exactly US troop deaths have fallen so much in October. It is possible that they are being given few military missions and spending more time on base.

Indeed, the sort of ground missions that might involve hand to hand fighting and high US casualties may have been replaced by air strikes against suspected insurgent targets. US air strikes on Iraq are up by a factor of four in 2007 over 2006, according to Newsay. The US launched 1,140 bombing missions in 2007 through the end of September, as opposed to 229 in all of 2006. The US has flown as many as 70 such air missions a day this October, more than at any time since the November, 2004, assault on the Sunni Arab city of Fallujah.

http://www.juancole.com/2007/10/us-troop-deaths-up-over-2006-air.html

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By cyrena, August 2, 2008 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2

Obviously, for an Occupation military to bomb a densely-populated city that it already largely controls is a violation of human rights law. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq has just condemned the US for using this tactic, which inevitably kills children, women and other non-combatants. You can’t drop a bomb on an urban apartment building without killing lots of people, not only inside the building but also all around it. The bomb turns bits of the building into deadly projectiles. I am told that the US Air Force takes no responsibility for these aerial strikes when they are called in by army troops on the ground, and makes no assessment as to whether proportional force was deployed or excessive civilian casualties were incurred. So you have a convoy of soldiers in humvees driving through deeply hostile Sadr City, and someone starts sniping at them from a building. Obviously, running into the building is dangerous; it could be booby-trapped, or snipers could have set up there. I wouldn’t want to do it. So the tendency would obviously be to take out the snipers by taking out the building they are using. That makes military sense. It doesn’t make sense in the international law of occupations.”

http://www.juancole.com/2007/10/us-troop-deaths-up-over-2006-air.html


So, I guess it really IS all ‘relative’ about the ‘successes’ of the surge. Other’s have pointed out that the ‘separation’ of Sunnis and Shia involved building huge concrete walls topped with barbed wire around these neighborhoods, (or what was left of them) with only one way in or out, guarded by armed US military of course. Pretty much like the set-up in Gaza – open air prison style, and trapped like rats for the air bomb campaigns.

Meantime, let us not forget that these were the Iraqis who could not flee with the 4 million that managed to get away. Yep, real ‘successful’ that ‘surge”…as long as you don’t consider all of the deaths and the wounded, including the 3.842 troops with brain injuries, and other wounds too numerous to include here.

And, as long as you don’t consider all of the dead men, women and children of Iraq, and the hundreds of thousands of orphans left.


So, I’d have to disagree with Obama and Tony this time, (though I’m usually in agreement with them both). But, maybe it’s just because I have a different concept of what ‘success’ is, in a disastrous, tragic, destruction of life in what has been, from day one…an illegal war, based on false pretenses.

In all of these millions of murders and for all intents and purposes, life ending wounds (any soldier or marine missing his or her brain or multiple limbs would have been among the fatalities in earlier century wars, and these hundreds of thousands probably wish they were) I see very little to brag about, or reference as some sort of a ‘happy convergence’.

Same goes for the hundreds of suicides that have befallen those who actually managed to return home.

Obviously Rus, you had no loved ones involved in this ‘successful’ surge.


Meantime, over in IGNORED Afghanistan, the troop and civilian deaths have more than doubled since the ‘surge’ in Iraq.

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Re Robert

Obama needs to be careful out there. They are trying to trip him in every way. He needs to look out for any big surprises in October
—————————————————————————-
Yeah, like another “terrorist attack”.

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

By Max Shields, August 2 at 8:56 am #


Tony it appears, given your posts on the surge, that your support for Obama is fitting. “We’re there so let’s get the military tactics right.”

This is not PDA talk. It is war and intervention talk. You probably think US/NATO air raids in Bosnia (10,000 feet collateral damage is just part of the game) was fine. After all, we’re the “good guys” and we need to intervene on the part of the people in that area (even if it means killing several thousand civilians and children.
——————————————————————————-
Max,

My posts are “PDA talk”, because I’m a longstanding supporter of the PDA (Progressive Democrats of America). If you are a PDA supporter too, then whatever you say is also PDA talk. That’s the great thing about being a progressive “democrat”. So I will also venture to say that I supported Clinton’s Bosnia intervention, because I regarded it as not done for imperialist reasons but to prevent Serbian ethnic cleansing. I don’t see how there was any imperialist profit in this policy. Yes, there is always “collateral damage” in any military action, and unless you are an absolute pacifist, which is an untenable political position, the question is whether such damage is worse than the consequences of not intervening. I remember having to humbly apologize to some Chinese friends for that bombing of the Chinese embassy, and promising them that my government would make full restitution, which I believe was done. My judgment after 12 years is that the intervention was fairly successful, and that a situation of relative political stablility has been created which benefits the people of Bosnia. Am I wrong?

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By Robert, August 2, 2008 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

Cyrena,

Thanks for the links. Keep up the good work. The TRUTH needs to surface to the top so that everyone can see it. We have been masked by deceptions for so long, its about time the TRUTH started to come out…slowly but surely. This so called US administration has been the worst…ever. Those “NEOCONS” would love for “McWorse” to get elected so that the current schemes would continue for the next several years.

Obama needs to be careful out there. They are trying to trip him in every way. He needs to look out for any big surprises in October. The AIPAC controlled news and their gofers are good at planning those kind of “SURPRISE STORIES”. McWorse is counting on them big time!

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Re Max Shields

As I said, neither you nor Russ can see the critical differences between Obama’s position and McCain’s. You both think Obama’s claim to really be substantially different is “a fraud”. Russ is going to vote for McCain on the grounds that his imperialist policy has been right all along, and you, I presume, are going to vote Nader or stay home (the same thing, as far as I’m concerned). I’m going to vote for Obama and bring as many people as possible along with me. We shall see who is right over the next couple of years. It should be clear whether there are going to be permanent military bases in Iraq or not. I hope whichever of us turns out to be wrong will be honest enough to admit it.

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By Max Shields, August 2, 2008 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

Tony it appears, given your posts on the surge, that your support for Obama is fitting. “We’re there so let’s get the military tactics right.”

This is not PDA talk. It is war and intervention talk. You probably think US/NATO air raids in Bosnia (10,000 feet collateral damage is just part of the game) was fine. After all, we’re the “good guys” and we need to intervene on the part of the people in that area (even if it means killing several thousand civilians and children.

And what about Afghanistan - you know most of those killed are civilians without weapons? But hey, that’s the good war and as long as it’s not going on in my neighborhood we can philosophize about how Obama will be more “surgical” than Bush.

I know I’m putting words in your “mouth” but the argument is a logical extension. In fact that’s how Obama sounds to those of us who want US troops, bases out of not only Iraq and Afghanistan but throughout the world.

But that wouldn’t be “prudient”. It would be “precipitous”. That’t the war party speak.

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By Max Shields, August 2, 2008 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Russ,
“‘To listen to Barack Obama attempt to explain his views on Iraq and the so-called surge is becoming, for those of us who have followed his responses over the last 18 months, something of a spectacle,” wrote Peter Wehner in Commentary magazine. “With every effort, it seems, he is compounding his mistakes in judgment with intellectually dishonest answers, ones which melt away under even minimal scrutiny.’”

I think this point is very accurate. But it is not because the surge is “working”. You cannot call an unmitigated crime against humanity “workable”. PERIOD.

The Nuremburg trial made it quite clear and International law has adopted along with the UN Charter the essence of that trials conclusions, that invading a sovereign nation (2 in US gover’t's case) creates the basis whereby all of the crimes against humanity that follow are the culmination of the invasion (and occupation). THAT CANNOT be undone by a surge.

The argument against Obama cannot honestly come from the Repugs because they were complicit with the Dems regarding the onslaught that is the continued outcome in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Obama has bought and sold hookline and sinker the notion that we are fighting a “war against terror”. He compounds that by framing the argument on Bush terms.

Very simply, there is nothing prudient about slowly ending daily massacures. Obama is part of the war party. It is the confluence of militarists in both Dems and Repugs. He in fact, is the worst choice the Dems could have made out of the field they originally had - without question, perhaps Hillary would be a close second.

Obama has no grounding principles beyond wanting to be POTUS. He thinks he’s smart - as did Kerry who at least conceded this was not a “war” on terror. The reason Obama is so close in the polls is because he’s Repug-lite. Why vote for a fraud when you can have the real thing in McCain.

A man or woman without grounding is not a leader, not even a good advocate for people. He is worthless.

The “debate” between Obama and McCain is really a conversation that has nothing to do with change. It is a power elite conversation which means it has nothing to do with people here and in the world at large.

Obama is pure and simple a fraud, intellectually because he pretends to be about fundamental change and an end to the occupation of Iraq. When he clearly is neither.

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Russ,

Furthermore, a critical difference between the McCain and Obama policies concerns the presence of permanent bases in Iraq. McCain’s policy all along has been for permanent bases to remain. That was what he meant by saying he would have no problem with troops remaining in Iraq for the next 100 years - permanent military bases. Obama’s policy is and always has been that there will be no permanent military bases. His reference to leaving residual forces does not mean the same as permanent military bases. Both people (supposedly) on the “left” and Republicans like you do not recognize this basic difference between the McCain and Obama Iraq policies. It is the diffence between a truly imperialistic policy of military domination of the Middle East and a policy that recognizes that the Iraq war was an illegal act of imperialist aggression on the part of the Bush administration.

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Russ,

I will say that the surge has been more effective than Obama (and I) thought it would be when it was announced, that Gen Petraeus deserves credit for good military strategy, and that John McCain deserves credit for supporting it.

Now, will you say that McCain and everybody else who supported the war were “spectacularly wrong” to begin with, as has been conclusively proved since 2003 when no WMD were found, and that Obama (and I) were “spectacularly right” in opposing the war in 2002? Hillary couldn’t admit that. Can McCain? Can you? I doubt it.

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

By Rus7355, August 2 at 6:30 am

I myself was reflexively against “the surge”, remembering as I do the “escalations” of the Vietnam war which never did anything but make things progressively worse. However, over the course of the past year there is no doubt that violence has considerably diminished, and I am now willing to give Gen Petraus’ strategy some credit. It involved not only bringing in more troops, but also deploying them in a way that made strategic sense, in combination with other measures, such as helping to separate Sunni and Shia neighborhoods, a shift which was naturally occurring anyway, and working politically with local leaders. The Iraqi people themselves, however, deserve most of the credit, especially in Anbar province, where conditions were improving before the surge began. Obama was probably thinking about the same as I was at the time the surge was announced, and he is now finding it a bit difficult to back off of his previous statements, as any politician, even Obama, frequently does. But I think you are seeing him do this as we speak, because if conditions have improved because of the surge, it is a strong argument for his longstanding policy to remove all combat troops within about 16 months, a policy that has now been endorsed by the Maliki government.

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By Tony Wicher, August 2, 2008 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

ITW,

If there had been a second Carter term, a permanent border along the 67 lines and a permanent peace between Israel and Palestine might have been negotiated. But the Sharon settlement policy was intended to create “facts on the ground” that would prevent such a settlement. The question is whether Sharon succeeded or not. If he did, it means that a two-state solution is no longer possible. If the settlers, or most of them, cannot be withdrawn from the OPT, then there is no room left for a Palestinian state - just some Bantustans, some Indian reservations. That would not be a just peace. That would leave my “One Democratic State” solution as the only way to a just peace. It would be ironic if Sharon had succeeded in creating conditions where the end of Israel as a Jewish state was the only solution. On the other hand, perhaps the “facts on the ground” can be reversed enough to create a country acceptable to most Palestinians. This is what the negotiations will have to figure out.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 2, 2008 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher, August 1 at 8:29 pm #

ITW,

I for one can “read between the lines” of Obama’s speeches about Israel. Those who take his statements before AIPAC at face value are naive at best. I believe his deep strategy is to reassure the American Jewish community of his commitment to Israel’s security so that after he is elected, when he does begin to do the tough negotiating necessary for the Palestinians to have justice and human rights, they will support him as their mostly progressive ideals prompt them to do, rather than oppose him out of fear for Israel’s security.

******************************************

TW: EXACTLY what I was trying to say before. Israel CAN make a just peace with her neighbors—just ask Egypt and Jordan.

I’ve long thought the SCARIEST thing for Israel would be a Jewish US President—because such a President couldn’t be bullied or accused of lack of sympathy or anti-semitism (Excluding, of course, guys like Lieberman)....sort of the “Only Nixon could go to China”.  Think of it: A Madeline Albright would FREAK them out! Luckily for them she’s ineligible as she’s naturalized.

In fact, such a Jew would be the best friend and hope Palestinians ever had in the US President.

Why put up with a Begin, Sharon or Netanyahu when you cut your teeth on their type of argumentative BS from the time you were a tot?  It took every bit of Jimmy Carter’s patience not to brain Begin back at Camp David.

Patience, determination, a sense of justice and both sides get something but not everything.  A good contract or treaty is one that behooves BOTH parties to stick to it.  If you have to have it enforced by a third party or a court, it has already failed.

I repeat: A good agreement is one that naturally behooves both parties to abide by it.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 2, 2008 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher, August 1 at 7:37 pm #

Ed Harges, August 1 at 8:52 am #

You know, it’s very true that there are a lot of conflicted Jews. Their genuine attachment to Israel conflicts with their genuine belief in peace and human rights. Those who have tried hardest to resolve this conflict are people like Lerner and Avnery, and the possibility for Obama to align with the Jewish peace movement is great.
*******************************************
It’s true that many Jews are conflicted—I, as one,  want a just and lasting peace, and “just” means for Israelis and Palestinians, for Jews, Christians and Moslems, Arabs and non-Arabs.

On the other hand, many of us have family in Israel and we want them to be safe and free, just like EVERYONE wants family members in other countries to be safe.

Of course, the close-minded Ultra-Orthodox “Jews” play on fear, just like the fundamentalist “Christians” and “Muslims”.  I put them all in quotes because in all 3 Abrahamic religions, what these right-wingers are doing is directly opposite to what their own scriptures teach.

Get them out of the picture and let the sane, rational and moral people on all sides make peace.

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By cyrena, August 2, 2008 at 12:25 am Link to this comment

Robert,

Thanks for the info on the checkpoints and all of the other barriers in the West Bank and Gaza. In the process of checking for the URL’s to the pieces that Nabih had sent me, I discovered it was in one of those articles, that I had read of the ‘funny numbers’ on them. Anyway, I’ve posted those links since. I was unfamiliar with that publication “The Washington Report On Middle East Affairs” – or maybe I’d read other things from it, and just didn’t make the connection to the title. No matter, it’s an excellent resource to add to the many others. I’m particularly appreciative of the Electronic Intifada as well, but that could just be because it was among the first that I referenced so frequently. Several of my colleagues contribute to that as well as other on-line journals with similar content.

So, those are helpful additions to the ones that you have frequently posted from here as well.

Thanks again.

By thebeerdoctor, August 1 at 9:09 pm

•  “So go ahead and bitch about other people bitching, especially those of us who do not share your superior sense of politics. Who are we to question the all knowing one? Just people, that’s all.”

Oh I wasn’t ‘raging’ beerdoc. Matter of fact, you’ve never heard/read me actually ‘rage’. NOR is it my ‘sense of politics’ that is superior. It’s my sense of separating the emotional petty bullshit rhetoric from the reality of the fact that…yep, we’re ALL ‘just people’, and you seem to be of the opinion that
you have some special place in the pity club, and everybody else needs to share your overall disgust and distrust of everything that exists, and your willingness to always find some blame, other than yourself.

I’m just letting you know that there are those among us who are willing to join forces to create the direction we want to make happen, instead of just bitching about what a poor job somebody else is likely to do, based on what…just your doom and gloom mentality? It amazes me (and I DON’T find this the least bit ‘hilarious’) that you rarely mention or otherwise reference any of the specifics or individuals who got us into this in the first place. You just do sort of a “blanket blame” for everything that’s ever gone wrong in the history of the US, saving the specifics for Obama. Max is worse, but not by much.

And, I’m not the ‘all knowing one’ either, since there is no such entity in this world as I know it. However, the ‘one’ I *am* has limited patience with whiners. (I used to have more, time is simply too precious now). And, while I’m not a ‘believer’ I do tend to gain some legitimacy from the adage that claims that God helps those who help themselves. The same goes for ‘just people’. “Just people” are far more likely to help each other, when any one of us is able to give even a minor indication that we might just be willing to help ourselves. When one indulges in a steady and UNBROKEN litany of complaining, without even a tiny, tiny, tiny, speck of ANYTHING ever positive to cross their lips, (so obviously such a tidbit of thought never originates in their brains) even the saints among us, (and I don’t know many of them either) are likely to blow their asses off.

Reading stuff from you sounds like listening to some fanatic preaching the terror of the Old Testament, all fired and brimstoned up to the hilt. So maybe you should skip the anti-depressants, and just go for the full package shock therapy.

I hear it helps. Better than a full lobotomy.

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By cyrena, August 1, 2008 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment

Part 1 of 2
Robert and anybody interested


Ok, here are 3 of 4 articles that I mentioned earlier. I’ll include the last one in part 2

United Nations Report

Straight-Speaking Under Secretary-General Pascoe Detailed and Damning

By Ian Williams
“IT IS ALMOST AN axiom of Middle Eastern politics that, except for American politicians, Israeli politicians and their behavior will eventually exasperate anyone, no matter how sympathetic they were to start with. Ban Ki Moon, who for the first six months or so of his secretary-generalship did not utter a word of condemnation, has now begun to realize just how unsupportable Israeli tactics are.

One of the major influences in this is his new under secretary-general for political affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, who has intervened several times within the U.N. to ensure a sense of balance in the Middle East. There was some apprehension at appointing an American to such a sensitive position, but as luck and good judgment by Ban Ki Moon would have it, it was a sensitive appointment in every sense of the word.
As a former State Department professional—most recently, U.S. ambassador to Indonesia—Pascoe has escaped the immunity from reality regularly granted to American politicians on Israeli questions.”

More at the link

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/December_2007/0712026.html

http://www.washington-report.org/archives/December_2007/0712026.html
~~~
Israel at 60 Has an Increasingly Troubled Relationship With American Jews

By Allan C. Brownfeld

Israel’s 60th anniversary has revealed an American Jewish community increasingly divided with regard to its relationship to the state which proclaims itself the “Jewish homeland” and which persists in telling American Jews, according to the traditional Zionist formula, that they are living in “exile” and that their religious obligation is to make “aliyah”—i.e., emigrate to Israel.

Some American Jewish leaders accept this formula, such as Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism. Earlier in its history, that organization rejected the notion of Jewish nationalism, declaring instead that Judaism was a religion of universal values, equally at home everyplace in the world.

More at the link

http://www.washington-report.org/archives/July_2008/0807050.html

~~~~
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2007, pages 7-9

Special Report

Bush Calls a Peace Conference While Stoking a Wider War

By Rachelle Marshall

“THREE MONTHS AFTER President George W. Bush issued his call for a regional Middle East peace conference to be held in November, a basic question remained: Was Bush’s announcement an effort to enhance his image and cover up past inactivity, or was it the start of a process he would see through to the end? More specifically, after seven years of giving unqualified support to Israel, including approval of its settlement activity, separation wall, and policy of collective punishment, would the Bush administration press the Israelis to end their illegal 40-year occupation or allow them to remain unyielding?”

More at the link

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/December_2007/0712007.html

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By cyrena, August 1, 2008 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 2008, pages 7-9

The Unintended Consequences of America’s Middle East Wars

By Rachelle Marshall

“Petraeus and his fellow surge advocates are driving flat out in Iraq with no destination in sight.—Steve Coll, in the New Yorker, April 14, 2008

The more we try to explain such events in history reasonably, the more unreasonable and incomprehensible do they become.—Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

TOLSTOY WROTE these words in reference to the War of 1812 between France and Russia, but his message was that war is an irrational exercise that invariably takes on a momentum of its own, regardless of its original purpose. Surely his observation applies to the current Middle East wars in which the U.S. and Israel are unable to achieve victory despite their vastly superior military power, and for which there is no foreseeable end.

In each case the stated intent of the warmakers has been derailed by unintended consequences. U.S. forces in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq are not fighting al-Qaeda terrorists but multiple and ill-defined resistance forces, and defending governments that lack support from their own citizens. Israel’s assaults on Gaza have strengthened rather than weakened Hamas, and provoke more resistance. All four wars have caused massive damage to the countries involved and inflicted limitless misery on their inhabitants, but instead of ending terrorism they are laying the groundwork for more.”

The rest at the link

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/July_2008/0807007.html

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By Robert, August 1, 2008 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena,

I do get what you are saying regarding Israel’s deceptive strategy. Keep talking loudly…PEACE…PEACE…PEACE…negotiations on-going, releasing Palestinian prisoners (over 10,000 in Israeli prisons), removing those checkpoints…more freedom of movement…etc…

So what are the results? Almost NOTHING! Israel is NOT going to give anything so long as the American people are kept in the dark & away from the TRUTH. Our AIPAC controlled news medias are going to continue with what they have been doing for many years. So far it has worked for them.

Just take a look at the number of checkpoints below which were given by Amira Hass, an Israeli journalist in 2007. Nothing has changed. It only got worse.

Dick & W only fueled the conflict. They gave all the green lights to Israel’s IDF to practically do whatever they wanted to do. “McWorse” will bring disaster to the whole region. If Obama is elected, I do hope that things will begin to change for the better. There is too much violence and too many people are getting killed on both sides. It needs to stop. 
==================

Checkpoints and barriers

  * There were 75 manned checkpoints in the West Bank as of January 9, 2007.

  * There are on average 150 mobile checkpoints a week (as of September 2006).

  * There are 446 obstacles placed between roads and villages, including concrete cubes, earth ramparts, 88 iron gates and 74 kilometers of fences along main roads.

  * There are 83 iron gates along the separation fence, dividing lands from their owners. Only 25 of the gates open occasionally.

Amira Hass writes for Ha’aretz. She is the author of Drinking the Sea at Gaza.

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By thebeerdoctor, August 1, 2008 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

rage on sweet cyrena rage on! Your rationalizations for Obama are hilarious. Don’t worry my fellow truthdig poster, you will more than likely get your wish. The O train will reach the station. As for speaking for myself, is that not what you are suppose to do here? So go ahead and bitch about other people bitching, especially those of us who do not share your superior sense of politics. Who are we to question the all knowing one? Just people, that’s all.

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