You are hereWestern Asia ("Middle East")
Western Asia ("Middle East")
By Dave Lindorff
American foreign policy is moving from the absurd to the ludicrous.
Back in 2002, President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney managed to snooker the people of the United States, or at least a large number of us, into believing that Iraq, a pathetic Third World country ruled by a corrupt tin-pot dictator, was a grave danger to America, akin to Hitler and Nazi Germany in 1940. We learned how absurd that claim was when two hundred thousand American troops backed by the mightiest air force the world has ever seen, slammed into the country in March, 2003, and the Iraqi military simply folded up, and the Saddam regime along with it.
If you want to be discouraged about the prospects for Israel/Palestine peace during the Obama Administration, you don't have any shortage of evidence you can cite; you never do. But if you want to look for openings, the situation already looks much better than it did just over a week ago. Is there a "window" for peace? If so, are Americans ready to push the Obama Administration for the changes needed in U.S. policy to bring peace about?
Israel had to end its bombardment of Gaza by the January 20 "hope and change deadline," as Jon Stewart had predicted.
President Obama appointed former Senator Mitchell as his envoy for Israel/Palestine diplomacy. It is widely perceived that Mitchell will be fair - you might think that this would be an obvious requirement, but in the recent history of U.S. policy, it would be an innovation.
By Dave Lindorff
If you want to really know what's going on in Gaza, you cannot rely on the US Media, which, along with the rest of the world's media, have been barred from the battle zone by the Israeli government.
The only international reporters in Gaza now who can show what is actually happening there are the ones from Al Jazeera.
Under pressure from the Bush administration, the major cable providers in the US have not offered Al Jazeera in the US. The number of communities that have it in their available cable offerings can be counted on one or at most two hands.
But you can watch Al Jazeera's English channel's live feed free by downloading Livestation, a program that also offers the BBC, Deutschewelle (Germany) and French TV.
A striking similarity between Israel’s strategy in Palestine and Nazi long-term policy of extermination and annexation in Poland during the Second World War is clearly demonstrated by the Nuremberg Tribunal Charges and the Nuremberg Tribunal Judgement against Hans Frank, the Nazi Governor-General of the non-annexed occupied Poland in 1939 - 1945. It is absolutely shocking to read the documents and to see how many objectives and tactics in these two occupation theatres can be seen as parallel.
By Kathy Kelly
The U.S. is seeking to hire a merchant ship to deliver hundreds of tons of arms to Israel from Greece later this month, tender documents seen by Reuters show.
The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) said the ship was to carry 325 standard 20-foot containers of what is listed as "ammunition" on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.
A "hazardous material" designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators, but no other details were given.
"Shipping 3,000-odd tons of ammunition in one go is a lot," one broker said, on condition of anonymity.
Obama picks Ross as Mideast envoy
By Daniel Dombey in Washington
Dennis Ross, a former top diplomat for the George H W Bush and Clinton administrations, will become the Obama administration’s top envoy on the Middle East, an internal email from Mr Ross’s current employer has revealed.
Mr Ross, who previously served as the US envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is set to take a wider role as Hillary Clinton’s top adviser for the Middle East as a whole. Ms Clinton herself is due to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for her confirmation hearing for Secretary of State next Tuesday.READ REST.
by Linda Milazzo
I don't believe in god. I never have. I don't believe in religions. I study them, but I don't practice them. I try to understand them to be sensitive to the beliefs and traditions of others, and to attempt to appreciate the motivations behind religious thought and deed. But they are irrelevant to living my life.
Long ago as a freshman at CUNY's Queens College I was introduced to Taoism. Taoism began in ancient China as a religion, then morphed into a dogma free/deity free philosophy. Since my late teens I've tried hard to apply MY understanding of my Tao to my life. I have the freedom to choose my own path and not judge the paths of others. But since I have freedom of opinion, I fall prey to judge. I try not to. But I do.
Through the Tao, I'm both a peacemaker and a warrior since Taoism couples with the art of self-defense. I understand my right to protect myself when needed, and to protect the defenseless when they need me. Since I'm by nature protective, it suits my sensibilities to aid the weak, where I fancy myself absurdly as inordinately strong.
It may well be that in denouncing "Israel's" attack on Gaza one, in an important way, unwittingly does a disservice to the cause of holding the Bush Administration accountable for its crimes.
Is there any doubt that the Bush Administration approved this assault? Is there any doubt that it could not have taken place without the Bush Administration's approval?
Is there any doubt that it could not continue without the support of the Bush Administration and the protective umbrella of its veto at the UN Security Council? Is there any doubt that it will stop the very day that the Bush Administration says that it must?
If so, is it in the interest of humanity that we Americans engage in the charade that the Israeli government is an autonomous actor in this matter?
All these observations are true in general, but we have plenty of specific evidence in this case.
By Dave Lindorff
The deafening silence from American government officials and from the US media regarding the criminal Israeli assault against civilians in Israel’s ghetto of Gaza, where nearly 1.5 million Palestinians are trapped every bit as brutally as were the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto, is beyond unconscionable.
` As Israeli shells and bombs and rockets rain down on university buildings, clearly marked ambulances, and homes, it has to be pointed out that much of the ammunition being used, as well as the planes that are delivering this death and mayhem, are provided by the United States and by American taxpayers—with no strings attached.
By Dave Lindorff
When Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi heaved his two shoes at the head of President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad, he did something that the White House press corps should have done years ago.