I have to get to my daughter’s house before 10 AM with all my clothes and meds packed to get down to Georgetown to the hotel by the hospital. I’ll bring my laptop and hopefully I can review the news or arts events and have another post for my friends later.
My thoughts are all tied up with this brain surgery and I’m not even exploring the Susan Rice SOS nomination… something I would ordinarily be dwelling on. Or Netanyahu‘s new attack on Gaza which is likely to bring us even farther into Middle East hostilities. You’ll have to trot around to the sites I regularly quote to keep up with everything.
Soooo…Have a nice day and occasionally think of me. -Bill
- Israeli military, Gaza militants trade fire (sfgate.com)
- Israel aircraft strike Gaza Strip; Netanyahu warns of major confrontation (vindy.com)
- Israel strike on Gaza sets stage for new phase of long running conflict (telegraph.co.uk)
- US defends Israeli attacks on Gaza at emergency UN meeting (dawn.com)
- 3D camera for brain surgery a big leap forward (thestar.com)
- Netanyahu in damage-control mode after Obama re-election (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- ‘Those claiming PM interfered in election harm US ties’ (jpost.com)
- PM says conducting ‘business as usual’ with US – Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)
* America’s role in the world
* Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan
* Red Lines – Israel and Iran
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – I
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – II
* The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World…
The one that will probably bring out a major Romney/Obama conflict is the Red Lines question since it deals with holding off nuclear weapons and brings the US into a war-support position with Israel. Since it works against Obama’s State Department‘s policy of negotiations over military imposition, I expect this will be Romney’s major moment. He has spent the last couple of months trying to describe Obama as being unfriendly with Benjamin Netanyahu and opposed to Israel’s rights – a major lie by the Republican, btw – and will most likely make this his position.
Since we haven’t really heard a foreign policy plan outlined by Romney, I expect Obama will keep bringing this lack of knowledge up to see if Romney crosses himself up.
Andrew Sullivan also listed the Foreign Policy subjects that most likely won’t be brought up:
1) The eurozone crisis
5) Foreign economic policy
7) North Korea
From my point of you, the fact that Romney has publicly stated that Russia was our major enemy, I will be surprised if Obama doesn’t use this to show Romney’s total lack of foreign policy knowledge.
- Foreign policy the focus for final debate (cbsnews.com)
- Last but Not Least the Foreign Policy Debate ! (webnerhouse.com)
- The Foreign Policy Debate: What To Expect – Minnesota Public Radio (minnesota.publicradio.org)
- Five Things to Watch for in Monday’s Foreign Policy Debate (swampland.time.com)
- Five Crucial Questions for the Presidential Foreign Policy Debate (canadafreepress.com)
- Obama Lead Over Romney in Foreign Policy Tested in Debate (bloomberg.com)
- Israel will continue to target attackers, Netanyahu tells Blair (jta.org)
- 5 Ways Romney and Obama Will Shamelessly Pander to Israel Tonight (alternet.org)
- Checking the candidates’ facts on foreign policy and national security (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
Here’s where to look for a World News Daily article by Jamal Abdi: New Senate Push to Pledge Unconditional Support for Israeli “Preventive” War on Iran.
Before reading it, here’s the first couple of sentences:
Graham claims his effort would merely make explicit that the U.S. has Israel’s back. But when your friend is drunk, you don’t hand them the keys. If Graham has his way, he will hand Bibi the keys and lend him our car, while the rest of us ride shotgun.
If this gets you at all nervous about creating a new major mideast war at the behest of Israel (and Lindsay Graham), then get ready to write your senator.
- New Senate Push to Pledge Unconditional Support for Israeli Preventive War on Iran (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Lindsey Graham Introduces Bill To Commit US Troops to Israel (dailypaul.com)
- New Senate Push to Pledge Unconditional Support for Israeli Preventive War on Iran (whitenewsnow.com)
- Lindsey Graham alleges Election-Driven WH cover-up on Benghazi, Calls Obama ‘misleading’ or ‘incompetent’ (riehlworldview.com)
- U.S. Senate Joins Bibi In Push For War (addictinginfo.org)
If you listen to Ryan, if we are going to deal with Iran‘s coming nuclear capacity (the capacity of which both the candidates disagree on) we are going to have to insert troops. This means a new war – probably in partnership with Israel.
Ryan is also going after Russia as an enemy… especially if we go to war in the middle east. In his opinion, Russia is the leasing supporter of the Arab countries. Biden, of course, gets back to the fact that Russia is currently our ally.
I’m curious as to how many of the current questions of the Romney / Ryan campaign get answered. I hand it to Biden that he has already put up the 47% as an issue related to taxes. Ryan seems to ignore it.
This is going to be an entertaining night.
- 10 things to watch in tonight’s Biden-Ryan debate (firstread.nbcnews.com)
- Biden looks to avenge Obama in VP debate (metronews.ca)
- Joe Biden, looking to avenge Obama, goes head to head with Ryan in VP debate (vancouversun.com)
- 5 things to watch in VP debate (politico.com)
- Why the Biden-Ryan VP debate will be must-see TV for the healthcare industry (medcitynews.com)
- Iran In The US Campaign’s Crosshairs – OpEd (eurasiareview.com)
- War on Iran – Failing on Its Own Terms (antiwar.com)
This article by Hrafnkell Haraldsson is in PoliticusUSA today. I’m giving you the first couple of paragraphs, but this is a long, well-thought out piece which continues the thinking I started earlier about religion and politics. In fact I was startled to discover a quote from Jefferson from the same document!
As you read it you discover that in a Romney America, “my god is bigger than your god. And your god doesn’t get any First Amendment protections because, well, it really isn’t a religion in the first place, is it? It’s a cult. Cults aren’t protected.” That certainly puts Islam in the gut bucket.
Anyway – here’s the start:
Can you imagine a United States where the president and vice president hate the world’s second largest religion and invite into White House councils those who advocate military action against whoever we feel might be a threat, including, particularly, Iran.
That’s the scenario being faced, incredibly enough, by the people of the United States. President Obama’s pragmatic, sober approach to diplomacy has restored the reputation of the United States and we are on the verge of escaping both long wars embarked upon by the Bush administration.
But Mitt Romney wants to abrogate control of America’s foreign policy – to Israel – which wants to attack Iran. He may have noticed we just got done with a nearly-ten-year-long-war in Iran’s neighbor, Iraq. He may have noticed that we are still engaged in Afghanistan, a place even Alexander the Great could not entirely subdue, a place that was a graveyard and charnel house for the mighty Soviet Union.
And now he wants to involve us in an attack on Iran.
OK… read the rest of it HERE. You’ll be glad you did.
- Liberal Smear: Romney’s War for the Jews (commentarymagazine.com)
- Romney campaign quickly distances itself from Mitt’s statement of support for Obama’s Iran policy (dailykos.com)
- Romney and Obama Share Iran ‘Red Line’ (abcnews.go.com)
- Romney Struggles to Distinguish Iran Red Line From Obama’s (nytimes.com)
Thanks to the Extreme Liberal Blog for showing off this one:
For his next stop, Romney went to Israel and gave a speech comparing the Palestinian culture unfavorably to Israeli culture. When everybody got mad, he said “I never said anything about culture.” He did, you can see it in the transcript provided by his campaign. Then after saying it, and then denying he said it, he wrote an op-ed and said it again. Now, in the Olympics they name a difficult move after the first person to do it in international competition. So from now on, the “Triple Self Contradiction with Vaguely Racist Backflip” will be known as the “Triple Romney”
– Peter Sagal on his NPR show Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me…
- Romney Denies, Then Confirms He Was Talking About Palestinian Culture (theatlanticwire.com)
- Mitt: I wasn’t criticizing Palestinian culture (politico.com)
- Racist Romney (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Romney claims he never spoke about Palestinian culture (rawstory.com)
- Jennifer Rubin, Mitt Romney’s top media shill (salon.com)
- Romney drops new clanger in Tel Aviv (morningstaronline.co.uk)
The Mayan calendar, say. Sometime next December, the ancient Mayan calendar ends and with it, some disturbed thinkers claim, the world. So what will do it? What will make the world crumble and the pieces drift into the universe? Maybe some of the actions we might take along the way.
For instance, we might elect Newt Gingrich as President. This would make our military grow and perhaps bring us into a new and destructive war while wiping out all the aspects of government that deal with education, poverty and civilian participation. Then again, we might elect Ron Paul who wants to turn off recognition of Israel, turn on recognition of Palestine and acknowledge, but not indicate any changes, in remarks stated in racist newsletters in the 90s. These factors would certainly end MY world, and I’m not sure that they wouldn’t lead to ongoing destruction across the planet. What fun.
Or we might continue to ignore Global Warming (like the majority of Tea Partiers) or air pollution, or ongoing poisoning of our water, or the Monsanto chemicalization of our food. Then we might all be gone and who cares what happens to the planet.
So let’s celebrate the coming of 2012 and begin the campaign to educate and change the world (even though both Paul and Gingrich would end the Department of Education) and do what we can before it’s too late. As to the Mayans, they didn’t stick around long enough to update their predictions… but, hey, that’s how it goes.
“Tens, even hundreds, of thousands of Jewish people in the last decades have come to their Messiah. And so Lord, we pray for the revival around the world, and for Israel to come to their own Messiah.”
Apparently people of all religions were invited to Perry’s Rally… as long as they were willing to convert to his religion in the process.
Can’t we get religion out of politics (and government) once and for all?
- The NAR and Perry Go Large (barthsnotes.wordpress.com)
- Colbert Blames S&P For Ignoring ‘America’s Most Valued Asset, Jesus’ (Enter Rick Perry) (mediaite.com)
- Lawrence O’Donnell: Gov. Rick Perry ‘Is Married To The Idea’ That Catholicism Is ‘A False Cult System’ (mediaite.com)
- Rick Perry To Evangelicals: I’m One Of You (huffingtonpost.com)
Nothing would make me happier than Republicans, and by that I mean The Tea Party (or the Koch Brothers Front) losing control of the House next year.
Steve Israel (see below) is right on the money here, and if those uncompromising righties don’t sign along with the rest of us to restore taxes on the Top 1%, then they will guarantee the loss of control.
Picked this up at Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:
- DCCC Chair Steve Israel Says Ryan Budget, Medicare Will Cost Republicans the House (blogs.abcnews.com)
- All in: House passes Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget, 235-193 (hotair.com)
- DCCC posts fundraising haul (politico.com)
- Meet the Democratic Campaign Leaders (pinkbananaworld.com)
Yuval Rabin and businessman Koby Huberman propose a response to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative: A Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with Jerusalem ‘the home of two capitals’.
By Akiva Eldar
Yuval Rabin, the son of the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, has joined forces with businessman and social activist Koby Huberman in order to advocate for the Israeli Peace Initiative, or IPI, a response to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.
In an article published in the Web site bitterlemons.org, Rabin and Huberman propose that instead of responding to the APA, the Israeli government should say “yes” by presenting a parallel proposal to end the conflict – the IPI.
The two have spent several months promoting the IPI among political figures, academics, and businessmen in Israel and at the same time tested the reaction of Palestinian and Arab figures to the principles of the initiative in an unofficial manner.
The detailed IPI proposal will be soon published in English, Hebrew, and Arabic, and the principles outlined are the following:
1. A viable Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and one-on-one land swaps
2. Jerusalem as the home of two capitals and special arrangements in the holy basin
3. An agreed solution for the refugees inside the Palestinian state (with symbolic exceptions)
4. Mutual recognition of the genuine national identities of the two states as the outcome of negotiations and not as a prerequisite
5. Reiteration of the principles underlying Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence regarding civic equality for its Arab citizens
6. Long-term security arrangements with international components.
In regards to the Syrian channel, the IPI suggests that the end-of-conflict scenario include “phased withdrawals from the Golan Heights to finally reach the 1967 borders with one-on-one land swaps, coupled with tight security arrangements to curb terrorists and paramilitary organizations.”
“Regarding Lebanon,” Rabin and Huberman write, “the scenario articulates mainly security arrangements, as international borders have already been established. The other three IPI components present regional security mechanisms addressing common regional threats, a vision for regional economic development, and parallel evolution toward regional recognition and normal ties.”
Concluding the article, Rabin and Huberman say that they “hope the IPI creates an intensified dialogue and some rethinking both in Israeli circles and the region.”
“More importantly, 15 years after Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, we hope to see brave regional and international leaders translate the API and IPI visions into practical and synchronized progress.”
Before the previous elections, Yuval Rabin met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and told him that he didn’t rule out voting for him for prime minister, and also supported Netanyahu’s intentions of establishing a unity government.
Rabin’s initiative may indicate his disappointment with Netanyahu’s current policies.
As one who is also disappointed (to say the least) with Netanyahu’s policies, I find this suggestion by Rabin’s son worth looking into. Haven’t we all had enough war…everywhere?
- Rabin’s Son Releases Proposal (talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Rabin’s Son Presents Peace Plan (tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Israelis mark 15th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin’s death (ctv.ca)
- November 4, 1995 – The Yitzhak Rabin Assassination (crooksandliars.com)
- Recalling Rabin, and a Mideast Quest (nytimes.com)
- Fifteen years after Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, letting go is the right thing to do. (slate.com)
“Settlers and settlements are not something that entertain me, and I don’t want to entertain them.”
– Israeli actor Yousef Swaid commenting on theatre artists’ boycott of new theatre in the occupied West Bank. The signatories have asked theatre managers to restrict their activity to stages within the internationally accepted 1967 borders.
And if you are against the idea, sign the petition.
If you want a clearer view of Netanyahu when he made the quote above, check out this article, Tricky BiBi, in an Israeli publication HAARETZ.
Why she made the comments on Israel, I don’t know. I do NOT believe that she is an anti-semite. I do believe she made a terrible mistake.
Note from Bill:
This is taken from an article in Salon this morning.
Alex Pareene is the reporter who states:
Hebrew-language “satire” website Latma produced a funny web video about the deadly raid by Israeli commandos on an aid flotilla headed for Gaza in which 9 activists, including an American citizen, were killed. The video is a laugh riot, especially if you love Israeli Jews dressing up as dead Palestinians and Muslims (and British and American activists) and singing funny songs:
If this upsets you (when I read Pareene’s article and analyze the source of all this, I am more or less disgusted with the Israeli right wing) then take some time and think about what may be done to end this crap. You can write to the organizations involved, or to President Obama, and suggest that we, as Americans, support someone other than Netanyahu to lead Israel.
I’d like to make something clear… I don’t think Israel’s action against the flotilla of Turkish ships bringing aid to the Gaza Strip was justified or remotely legal.
However, if I protest this it is much too easy to label me as an “anti-semite” (which I am not as my long history of Jewish friends, my Jewish wife and my 1/2 Jewish son will, I hope, attest to). So I was happy to see my thoughts on the matter repeated by Glenn Greenwald, who was being interviewed on MSNBC by Elliot Spitzer.
Take a look at the complete interview here:
Of course, now the USA is saying Israel should be allowed to self examine the situation and make what corrections are necessary… this to the opposition of the UN and most of the world.
Who are we kidding? Greenwald passes on this Twitter comment from Scott Larson:
“Self-regulation has worked so well for BP that surely it will be just as shiny for Israel.”
This was an interesting, long article at Truthout.com… Certainly worth reading before we send troops to Iran in the future (and who knows?, we’ll probably add Yemen, too if Joe Lieberman gets his way).
Read the clips then go over to Truthout and read the whole thing. Then wonder why we get involved in this crap!
The article ends:
This is not the first time that Giraldi has been tipped off by his intelligence sources on forged documents. Giraldi identified the individual or office responsible for creating the two most notorious forged documents in recent U.S. intelligence history.In 2005, Giraldi identified Michael Ledeen, the extreme right-wing former consultant to the National Security Council and the Pentagon, as an author of the fabricated letter purporting to show Iraqi interest in purchasing uranium from Niger. That letter was used by the George W. Bush administration to bolster its false case that Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear weapons programme.
Giraldi also identified officials in the “Office of Special Plans” who worked under Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith as having forged a letter purportedly written by Hussein’s intelligence director, Tahir Jalail Habbush al-Tikriti, to Hussein himself referring to an Iraqi intelligence operation to arrange for an unidentified shipment from Niger.
The trip that Obama is on right now may be the only chance he gets to firm up a Middle East policy that could actually create a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. The Oval Office has never reached out to the Arab nations before in our history the way Obama is reaching out now.
There is also the fact that Obama will be touring the Arab world but NOT stopping in Israel. It will be interesting to see where his course takes hum.