images below from various Communist and Anarchist websites, just to give you an idea of the depth of collaboration that goes on between the Left and the Mujahideen.First, the vanguard of proletarian revolution in Latin America wields his bayonet on behalf of Hamas:
Next comes an Islamized and cartoonified Che:
And a detail from Picasso’s Guernica, updated for the great Progressive cause of our time:
Finally, a sultry-eyed Muslima in full Patty Hearst mode takes up a rifle and a keffiyeh on behalf of her oppressed sisters in Gaza:
The merger between the Jihad and the Reds is seamless, and will presumably remain that way until the Revolution is finally achieved. After that there will be a bit of a reckoning.
Obama Justice Department sues on behalf of Muslim teacher who demanded three weeks off for hajj in the middle of the school yearLabels: hajj» Islam» Islamic» Mecca» Muslim» Religion» Safoorah Khan
"Justice Department sues on behalf of Muslim teacher, triggering debate," by Jerry Markon in the Washington Post:
BERKELEY, Ill. — Safoorah Khan had taught middle school math for only nine months in this tiny Chicago suburb when she made an unusual request. She wanted three weeks off for a pilgrimage to Mecca.
The school district, faced with losing its only math lab instructor during the critical end-of-semester marking period, said no. Khan, a devout Muslim, resigned and made the trip anyway.
Justice Department lawyers examined the same set of facts and reached a different conclusion: that the school district’s decision amounted to outright discrimination against Khan. They filed an unusual lawsuit, accusing the district of violating her civil rights by forcing her to choose between her job and her faith.
BEER SHEBA, ISRAEL - MARCH 23: British ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould visits the site where a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip on March 23, 2011 in Beer Sheba, Israel. Just days after an Israeli shell struck a home on the outskirts of Gaza City in Shejaiya and killed four Gazans, a rocket fell in an open field on Wednesday morning. No deaths were reported but one 56-year-old man was injured from debris and three others were treated for shock. (Getty Images)Back to the standard MO: Palestinians are again begging for Israel to kick their asses after which they plan to cry to the UN about "Israeli war crimes", followed by a declaration of another victory for Islam.
Has the Obama administration opined about today's two Palestinian terrorist attacks yet?
(Reuters) - Palestinian rockets struck two cities deep in Israel on Wednesday, wounding a resident and prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to threaten lengthy "exchanges of blows" with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Islamic Jihad, a smaller Gaza faction and occasional Hamas ally, claimed responsibility for the attacks on Beersheba and Ashdod.
Obama's see-no-Palestinian-evil response to the fatal terror bombing in Jerusalem, it's worth looking carefully at his official statement. Here are his comments in full:
"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the bombing in Jerusalem today, as well as the rockets and mortars fired from Gaza in recent days. Together with the American people, I offer my deepest condolences for those injured or killed. There is never any possible justification for terrorism. The United States calls on the groups responsible to end these attacks at once and we underscore that Israel, like all nations, has a right to self-defense. We also express our deepest condolences for the deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza yesterday. We stress the importance of calm and urge all parties to do everything in their power to prevent further violence and civilian casualties."
For starters, note that Obama never points out that this was a "Palestinian" terror attack and that these are "Palestinians" in "Hamas-ruled" Gaza who have been firing rockets and mortars in recent days. In the president's antiseptic view, there just was a bomb of unknown provenance that suddenly exploded in Jerusalem. Not a word about Palestinian culpability or that Gaza is under the rule of Hamas as Iran's proxy. No "Palestinian" fingerprints. No "Hamas" fingerprints.
Regarding the fatal bomb explosion in Jerusalem, Obama condemns "the bombing" -- but not the bomber. As for fire directed at southern Israel from Gaza, he condemns "the rockets and mortars" -- not the Palestinian groups which do the actual firing, or Iran which supplies them with such weaponry.
Moving on, It's fine for Obama to say there is never any justification for terrorism. But neither is there any justification for ignoring the source of this particular terrorism
Obama again tiptoes around the plain fact that this was a Palestinian attack on Israeli civilians when he calls on "the groups responsible" to end such attacks. Which groups? Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been pelting Israel with some 60 rocket and mortar attacks in the last four days. Why throw a cloak of anonymity around them? And could the Jerusalem bomber have been inspired by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas's incessant anti-Israel incitement campaign, including serial glorifications of suicide bombers? Shouldn't Obama, at a minimum, have called on Abbas to end such incitement?
The president, in his statement, extends "deepest condolences" for both victims of the Jerusalem bombing and for the deaths of Palestinian civilians a day earlier. That's playing the all too familiar, but totally misplaced, equivalence game. What Obama fails to point out is that the Jerusalem bombing was deliberately aimed to injure and kill as many civilians as possible, whereas there was no such intent the day before when the IDF, responding to rocket and mortar attacks from a grove, accidentally hit these Palestinian civilians next to the grove.
There is a moral difference between Hamas' use of Palestinian civilians as "human shields" when directing rocket attacks against Israel, and the IDF going to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties.
So, Obama ends his statement by urging "all parties to do everything in their power to prevent further violence and civilian casualties." Again, the equivalence game. As far as Obama is concerned, Palestinian terrorists and Israel have equal responsibility to end the mayhem. Obama obviously doesn't get it. It's not Israel that has racheted up violent attacks in recent days and weeks. It's Palestinians. If they would stop, the violence would end. Obama needed to point the finger at the real culprits. He didn't.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/03/obamas_fatuous_statement_on_te.html at March 23, 2011 - 05:34:40 PM CDT
It’s horrifying. Here’s my summary of the key point:
The United States will press for political reform and urge governments to talk to the opposition in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia. The United States will NOT press for political reform or urge governments to talk to the opposition in the Gaza Strip, Iran, Lebanon, Sudan, and Syria.What do the governments in the first paragraph have in common? They have been friendly to the United States.
What do the governments in the second paragraph have in common? They are currently unfriendly to the United States.
In other words, the policy is to pressure your friends (they become weaker); engage your enemies (they become stronger). It is the exact opposite of what U.S. policy should be at this time.
There is a carefully thought out rationale for this policy. It is this:
If relatively moderate countries open their political process (even if it gives Islamists a chance to take power), they will become stronger and less likely to have radical revolutions. Their success will then show that the radical regimes have failed and everyone will see democracy works better. So the radicals will all decide to become moderate or be overthrown by their own people.
The above paragraph is not a joke or satire. This idea is very clearly expressed in the testimony and in other administration statements. This is a historical theme in U.S. foreign policy.
For example, this was precisely the idea regarding the Palestinians. The United States and others would pour money into the West Bank, making the Palestinian Authority a success. Meanwhile, Gaza would sink into stagnation and the people there would want to have a good life, like those on the West Bank.
Of course, the Obama Administration then pressed Israel to drop the sanctions and pumped money (indirectly) into the Gaza Strip.
What else is wrong with this policy? A lot, but briefly:
– It ignores the fact that radical dictators will kill people to stay in power.
– Reform can do more to weaken regimes than the subversion of radical oppositionists.
– Ideology is a powerful factor sometimes transcending material well-being.
– The radicals think they’re winning so why should they change? The moderates think they’re losing and are more likely to change sides or appease the radicals.
– Radical nationalists or Islamists can use the opening in politics to win power and then transform the state into an aggressive, anti-American country. To some extent, this is what happened in Iran.
A more realistic U.S. government would have put some tough language into Burns’ testimony to cover itself by saying, for example, that it would back the democratic opposition in Iran. But the Obama administration is so ideologically blinded and has been given such a free pass by the mass media that it doesn’t realize how obviously far-out it behaves.
In giving this testimony — and this is only my opinion — Burns must have been the most horrified person in the Senate hearing room. After all, not only is he the highest-ranking career person in the State Department, he’s also a veteran of three decades of policymaking on the Middle East.
Much of what he said — expressing U.S. (i.e., White House) policy runs directly counter to everything he’s believed, advocated, and implemented in his career. Let’s go through it in detail, keeping in mind that Burns is just President Barack Obama’s messenger here.
His testimony expresses wild enthusiasm for recent Arab political upheavals. There’s no hint about throwing out a 32-year-old alliance with Egypt’s regime. Nor is there any whisper of an Islamist threat (no mention of Islamism or of the Muslim Brotherhood), or of an Iranian strategic threat (except for a phrase at the very end), much less from the radicalism of the Syrian regime, Hamas, and Hizballah. There’s no mention of Turkey’s change of sides or of any strategic problems whatsoever.
In a competent administration, if only to cover itself, the testimony would have included real warnings; reservations; strategic considerations; concerns over protecting U.S. interests, stress on the need to maintain U.S. leadership and credibility; and the importance of helping allies protect themselves.
Instead we get this community organizer-style rhetoric:
“The revolutions…are about the brave, proud, and determined people of Arab societies, intent upon better governance and more economic opportunities, intent upon erasing the disconnect between the rulers and the ruled that for so long has been so stifling for so many. And they’re about the universal values that the President spoke about two years ago in Cairo–the right of peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, and the right to determine one’s own destiny….”Here we see another administration theme: America’s only enemy is a tiny group called al-Qaida. America’s enemy is not revolutionary Islamism, which already controls entire countries and animates movements that mobilize millions of people.
“It is a moment of great possibility for American policy and help; a moment when the peaceful, homegrown, non-ideological movement surging out of Tahrir Square offers a powerful repudiation of al-Qaida’s false narrative that violence and extremism are the only ways to effect change.”
Strange, but neither al-Qaida nor any other radical Islamist force (Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hizballah, the Taliban, the Iraqi insurgents, or the Muslim Brotherhoods, as well as al-Qaida) seem the least bit worried about these upheavals. Perhaps the Obama Administration’s naive ideologues understand these things better than those who actually are Muslims, Arabs, speak the languages, and live in the Middle East.
Here is about all the lip service Burns’ testimony gives to the risks of Obama policy:
“But it is also a moment of considerable risk, because there is nothing automatic or foreordained about the success of such transitions. Helping to get them right is as important a challenge for American foreign policy as any we have faced since the end of the Cold War.”“Helping to get them right!” Aside from being ungrammatical, do you think the Obama Administration is going to be able to help make Egypt into a moderate, stable, wealthy, happy, democratic state?
But there’s more. The administration’s policy then goes on to discredit the “war on terrorism” and battle with Islamism:
“The long-held conceit of many Arab leaders was that there were really only two political choices — the autocrats you know or the Islamic extremists you fear. That provided a convenient rationale for blocking real political outlets or broadened participation, and it ultimately produced the spontaneous combustion of Tahrir Square.”But doesn’t that remain to be seen? That “spontaneous” combustion including a lot of anti-American far leftists and Muslim Brotherhood cadre. Those Arab leaders haven’t yet been proven wrong.
Imagine for the moment that you are a Saudi or Jordanian leader reading this. What would you say to the Obama Administration?:
You think the “Islamic extremists” are a mirage? You think Iran and its power is a conceit? Have you seen how many people were killed in Algeria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan in such internal conflicts? They want to kill us as well. You Americans are idiots! Why should we pay attention to you?
Burns continues with phrases like “remarkable sense of public empowerment” and “a communications revolution that stripped governments of their old monopoly on the flow of information, made people more aware of what others had in other societies that they didn’t, and helped them mobilize without central leadership or conventional political organizations.”
Let’s be frank here: the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt succeeded for one reason ultimately — that the armies supported them. They failed in Iran, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and elsewhere because the security forces supported the regime. Let’s not get carried away with “public empowerment” and Facebook as the twenty-first century equivalent of Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book!
Burns continues with a lecture on political theory:
“Political systems and leaderships that fail to respond to the legitimate aspirations of their people become more brittle, not more stable. Popular pressures to realize universal values will take different shapes in different societies, but no society is immune from them. Political systems are a little like bicycles — unless they’re peddled forward, they tend to fall over.”You see, weakening a friendly regime is always good! Change is always good! The people always want to realize “universal values” and merely do so in different ways (terrorism perhaps?).
Nobody could possibly be a radical nationalist, an Islamist, a militant anti-American or antisemite. They all want what Americans want. And unless you give the masses what they want, you fall from power, so you better give them what they want. It’s just a matter of negotiating the surrender terms.
There’s no way that Burns could really believe this stuff after three decades’ work on the Middle East.
He even calls this maxim an “inconvenient truth,” a reference to former Vice-President Al Gore’s global warming film. Yet despite Burns’ expression of guilt that past U.S. policy failed to recognize this building explosion of reformism and rebellion, the actual history of that policy shows something different. I participated in discussions with U.S. policymakers starting in the 1980s about the new generation, demographic shift, failure of Arab regimes, and other such factors. They weren’t so ignorant at all but understood the dangers involved, too.
Most obviously, there were attempts by President George W. Bush’s administration to push reform. But the current administration can’t say anything nice about its predecessor. And what about President Jimmy Carter’s push on democracy and human rights, including pressure on Iran’s shah to do precisely what the administration wants Arab leaders to do now? Oops. Better not mention that precedent or president.
But there’s more kumbaya babble instead of national interests’ diplomacy here. Burns says:
“It is in our long-term interest to support the emergence of more transparent and more responsive governments, who will ultimately make stronger and more stable partners….”While he admits that “the short-term is likely to be pretty complicated and unsettling” Burns is basically saying that nothing can go wrong.
He refers to “a danger of authoritarian retrenchment….” In other words, the region can go “back” to a Mubarak-style regime. But how about change leading to a brand new type of totalitarianism like what happened in Iran?
Remember, no administration official can say the word “Islamism.” So instead Burns refers to how “predatory extremists” might take advantage of the situation, as if these are burglars rather than movements with an attractive ideology and mass base far stronger than the Facebook crowd.
Burns names “economic stagnation” and failure to improve people’s lives as factors which might help these unnamed extremists take over. Burns then makes solving these problems sound easy. “We can help produce private sector jobs desperately needed to keep pace with demography and expectations.” Really? They can’t even do that in America!
It’s all very well to say that an “independent media to hold people accountable” is absolutely necessary. But the media is likely to be highly partisan and often controlled by radicals.
Here’s my favorite sentence:
“Popularly elected governments sometimes taking sharper issue with American policies than their autocratic predecessors did, and elections sometimes producing uncomfortable results.”You mean like Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hizballah in Lebanon? Might the “uncomfortable results” include throwing out U.S. bases, sponsoring terrorism, starting wars, promoting hysterical anti-Americanism, little things like that?
Yet what is most shocking of all in the new American policy is the failure even to mention support for democratic movements against the governments of Iran and Syria. Democratic reform is presented as managing the collapse of America’s Arab friends rather than an American asset to use against those who are both its enemies and the enemies of freedom.
How can the U.S. government make promoting democracy its main priority without even mentioning the idea of vigorously promoting democracy in Iran or Syria or supporting the oppositions in those countries? Why does the Obama Administration engage its enemies (Syria, Hizballah, and even the Taliban) and enrage its friends?
This is a policy that supports “serious political reform” and dialogue with the opposition only in countries friendly to the United States! Have they thought about what this means: Jordan’s government being pushed into a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian Authority pressed to set up a coalition with Hamas?
Only at the very end of Burns’ testimony, briefly and as an afterthought, comes the stuff that used to be U.S. Middle East policy before the triumph of Facebook democracy:
“Regional security: strengthening ties to the GCC states; in fighting terrorism; in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons and setting off a catastrophic regional arms race; in not losing sight of Iraq’s own crucial democratic transition and reintegration into the Arab world.”Oh yes, almost forgot about that obsolete stuff. Is Burns’ statement the best America — the best even Obama — can do as the Middle East burns?
Perhaps Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decided to resign after reading Burns’ draft testimony. I sure would have done so if I were her.
About the author,
Barry Rubin is Director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His books include Islamic Fundamentalists in Egyptian Politics and The Muslim Brotherhood (Palgrave-Macmillan); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East, a study of Arab reform movements (Wiley). GLORIA Center site: http://www.gloria-center.org His blog, Rubin Reports, http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.com.
Every analyst loves the day when policymakers and national leaders start echoing precisely what he's been writing for weeks, months, and years. In this case, unfortunately, it's about bad things happening.
Read this article in the new mainstream, establishment Internet newspaper, The Daily, interviewing people around Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Insiders love to give anonymous quotes about what's really going on within government, especially when they see the water rising up to the top of the portholes (the ship is sinking, echoing the Titanic imagery of this article's title); they are horrified by what's happening; and they see a catastrophe they don't want to be associated with (read: blamed for).
Guess what? They're saying that President Barack Obama and most of his team are dangerously incompetent and ideologically deluded--"amateur night" is one memorable phrase used. This is what I've been warning about since the summer of 2008 and pointing out in detail since January 20, 2009, on a daily basis.
I'm not writing this article for the purpose of saying I told you so, Well, okay, yes, I'm doing that also since it's one of the few pleasures of my craft. But what's most important is that there's no excuse now for anyone failing to understand that this is true.
Most of what I have written is based on material available with some understanding of the issues, good judgment, and serious research. Yet the most basic points have been missed by those far higher paid (that doesn't say much), with big budgets (ditto), large staffs (ditto), and the prestige that opens doors (ditto).
The main reason I'm writing this article is to declare, solemnly and seriously, that as of now, March 2011, nobody can say that they didn't know the U.S. government is set on a disastrous course internationally, throwing away American credibility, subverting U.S. allies, and helping America's foes (and the enemies of democracy and freedom).
This is not a matter of liberal and conservative or of Democrat and Republican. It is a national emergency. One can only hope that those within the government bureaucracy, Congress, the media, opinionmakers, and the general public (also known as: voters) wake up right now this minute and take appropriate action.
The alarm bell is going off in your ears.
After many rumours over the last couple of summers, Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman to his mates) has finally confirmed he’ll be coming to perform in Israel on June 20th, at the Ramat Gan Stadium, just outside Tel Aviv. Wow, wet dream time for many a Bob Dylan fan - and there are many in Israel!
Tickets are likely to be snapped up of course, so watch out for news of their sale (still unknown - and when we hear about it we’ll let you know!). They’ll probably be in the region of 350 shekels upwards.
Bob Dylan is of course, a legend. He began his career back at the end of the 1950s, though he became huge in the 60s, with hits like ”Blowin’ In The Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’” becoming anthems for the anti-war and civil rights movements.
There’ll be lots more to come on this…plus the inevitable “will he, won’t he”, as anti-Israel movements spread their love over the coming weeks.
For info about tickets: 03-5247373
There are no clips on YouTube that we can post here as they’ve all been disabled, but here’s a reminder of one of his classics…
....er make that a FAIL MARY!
So then why didn't Fatah and Abu Mazen accept it then? probably because he was in a better position with the Arabs at that point. this new offer is an act of desperation from a man who is irrelevant to the Arabs. Israel already made this mistake with his predecessor Arafat.
Abbas Prepared to Exchange Land for Peace with IsraelOn March 19 Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas was the guest of the Israeli Channel 2 show “Meet the Press.” The main points of the interview were the following (according to Israel Channel 2 TV, March 19, 2011):
– The peace process and an agreement with Israel:
Mahmoud Abbas said that he had no objection to meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu “anywhere.” He said the negotiations would resume when Prime Minister Netanyahu had made it clear that he was willing to accept the 1967 borders as a basis for negotiations and to freeze the building in the settlements for a number of months. He said that the negotiations would lead to the end of the conflict and cancel the historical territorial claims of both sides.
He said that he was prepared for an exchange of territories, and that if Netanyahu made a proposal similar to the one suggested by [former Israeli prime minister] Ehud Olmert he would accept it.
He emphasized that he would not accept a state “with temporary borders” as the negotiations’ final goal, but was ready to accept a final status arrangement implemented in stages, one of which would be a state with temporary borders.– Internal Palestinian reconciliation:
He said that although many countries had already recognized a Palestinian state, he did not want to declare an independent state “on paper,” and preferred a peace agreement with Israel.
Mahmoud Abbas said that the two parts of the Palestinian people, those in the West Bank and those in the Gaza Strip, had to be united. He claimed that the schism within the Palestinian people was an obstacle to peace and served Israel as an excuse not to go forward with the negotiations.– The murder in Itamar:
he is right on that one. not having power is an obstacle to taking Abu Mazen's word.
He expressed confidence that Hamas would not win elections in the West Bank, but nevertheless said that elections would be held and the Palestinians would choose whom they wanted, even if it were Hamas. He said the Palestinians were peace-loving and that even if Hamas should win the elections, Israel had nothing to fear.
so Abu Mazen has confidence that Hamas won't win an election... and that Hamas was into "PEACE". the denied correlative is Hamas is not into promoting the piece - "PEACE" and if they were then Fatah would win the election
He said that Hamas had expressed readiness to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and was currently preventing rockets from being fired from the Gaza Strip. He added that he hoped that the Palestinian Authority would be able to turn Hamas into a “peace movement.”
Mahmoud Abbas again denounced the murder of the Fogel family in the village of Itamar. He claimed he denounced it as soon as he heard about it. He emphasized that the deed was an exception to Palestinian tradition and morality. He claimed that the senior figures of the Palestinian Authority doubted whether the murderer was a Palestinian, because “it is unthinkable that a Palestinian aware of his own actions could kill a three month-old baby.”
the last one was the biggest fraudulent statement of all. He had to be talked into saying something about the Fogel people by the Obama administration and his own people within Fatah called the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades were the criminals who did the act.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared that there will be no peace with Israel until all Palestinian prisoners and detainees are released from Israeli jails.
then he changes his min again...
Abbas made the comments during a meeting in Ramallah with Bil'in protest organizer Abdallah Abu Rahmah, who was released from an Israeli prison. (Elior Levy)
Video from AP:
since changed in the article, and also on the homepage–claimed this is the “First Terror Attack in Years,which they’ve since changed to “Jerusalem’s First Terror Attack in Years.” But the first headlines showed complete ignorance. I guess they forgot about the decapitated baby and stabbed family in Itamar. Or the rockets and missiles sent into Israel every day for the last week. Or the repeated rockets shot into Sderot, where poor, working-class Jews live and cannot afford to move out. Or the daily terrorist attacks you don’t read much about, like the attack on the Jewish woman and her Christian missionary friend as they were hiking in the forest. There are Islamic terrorist attacks on Israel and its civilians every single day. You just never hear about it. And even though FOX News changed the headline, the lying crap remains in the story:
Israel Rescue workers and paramedics treat a person wounded by an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem, Wednesday, March 23, 2011. A bomb planted at a telephone booth exploded at a crowded bus stop Wednesday in central Jerusalem, wounding many people in what appeared to be the first militant attack in the city in several years. (AP Photo)An explosion at a crowded bus stop in central Jerusalem has caused dozens of casualties, police said.
(Telegraph) Scores of ambulances converged on the area, near the central bus station and a city conference hall in a Jewish neighbourhood of Jerusalem.Update (M&C via DPA):
Around 25 people had been wounded, according to medical sources, 15 of them seriously. No deaths were reported.
Police described the explosion as a "terrorist attack".
The explosion appears to be the first bus bombing in the region in several years and comes amid rising tensions between Hamas militants and Israel.
Jerusalem - A woman injured in a bombing in Jerusalem on Wednesday died of her wounds, Israel Radio reported.Update:
Some 31 people were injured by the bomb, which was placed next to a bus shelter by Jerusalem's convention centre. The bomb exploded as two packed buses were passing.
Posted by Watcher
Should the United States and Europe want Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi out of power? Sure. But the real question is how U.S. policy is dealing with this crisis.
1. Nothing could be more obvious than the fact that all of these people talking about how evil Qadhafi is are doings only because he is being so severely challenged in a civil war. Where were all of these humanitarians when nobody was writing about his repression? Better late than never but let's get real about what has happened here.
2. How can a president go to war without even seeking congressional support. Some in the media are so ridiculously eager to support Obama that one CNN reporter defended him by saying that he had telephoned some members of Congress! Note how this parallels the use of czars, regulation, and executive orders to bypass Congress regarding domestic affairs. Just because Barack Obama is a Democrat and an alleged "liberal" (this is a radical, not a liberal White House), why should he be allowed to act in a non-democratic fashion?
3. What is the aim of the war? Overthrowing Qadhafi? Forcing a ceasefire? Protecting civilians? I've never before seen anarchy on the side of a U.S.-led (or is it a French-led?) coalition. From minute to minute the strategy seems to change.
4. Who is the opposition that the West fights to help? Islamists? Tribalists? Regionalists? Moderate democrats? Before you help someone win a war it helps to know who they are.
5. How can people who spent years criticizing the war in Iraq, telling us that war is not the solution to problems, decrying civilian casualties from other countries' defensive activities, arguing that such interventions led to endless commitments, and such things now plunge the United States into a third simultaneous war in a Muslim-majority country?
6. This war was entered into on the premise that the "Arabs" support it. But now the Arab League opposes the war. Has anyone in the U.S. government considered the regional implications? One might note that the Arab nationalists oppose the intervention while the Islamists support it. That's not a good indication.
7. Just calling something a humanitarian intervention does not solve all problems. The U.S. intervention in Somalia--the perfect example of a disaster in this regard--was also humanitarian in motivation.
At least the Iraq war was a huge success at the beginning and only later became something of a mess. This war is a mess from the start.
I am not saying that I oppose military intervention in Libya in principle. But such a confused and ill-defined operation is horrifying. The real issue is not whether something should be done but how it's being done.
On the same day that a family of five were being murdered in their home in Israel, Harvey Weinstein ran a self-congratulatory promotional piece for his company's terrorist propaganda flick, Miral. The photos stand out. The fat smirking face of Harvey Weinstein contrasted with the sleeping baby, the smiling little boys and the earnest couple who were their parents. They are all dead, and a Harvey Weinstein lives on to smirk another day. So it is with perpetrators and victims. The innocent children and the fat ugly men who profit from trafficking in the narrative of their killers.
Harvey Weinstein denounces Peter King and urges him to go watch Miral. But perhaps it is Harvey Weinstein who should drive to a small town lost in the Samarian Mountains and retrace the steps of the murderers in the name of the nationalistic mythology that movies like Miral glamorize. To fit himself through the living room window where the two terrorists entered, moving quietly in the dark, not seeing the six year old boy sleeping peacefully on the couch. That six year old boy who survived because like so many other little boys during the Holocaust, the men who were coming to murder him went right past him without seeing him. The six year old boy who was being orphaned around the same time that Harvey Weinstein and his PR people were conferring on a final draft for their Miral puff piece.
Come along Harvey, into the bedroom where a father and his three month old daughter, Hadas, were fast asleep. It can be hard to get a 3 month old baby to fall asleep. Her father must had quite a time of it that night. Babies may not have language, but they do have fears. They are afraid of the strange new world they were born into. And they need parents to comfort them and assure them that everything will be alright. That they are loved and protected. When Rabbi Fogel finally got his little baby daughter to sleep, she must have felt safe with her father there. The man who would have taught her about life. Who would have done his best to protect her. And the man whose throat was slashed in his sleep along with his child's.
Tell me Harvey, do you know what goes through a three month old baby's mind when her throat is being slashed? You can't make a movie about it and you wouldn't it if you could. Movies are complex stories. The characters change and grow. They become someone else. A three month old baby having her throat cut will never become anyone else. She is fixed in that moment of horror and pain. Dying without knowing why. Only that her parents couldn't protect her. If you were going to make a movie about this scene, it would be about the killers. You would show their past and explain their actions. Surely an Israeli soldier stepped on their toe once or blew up their house. Stretch it out over two hours and you can justify anything. Even the knife being drawn across Hadas' throat. That is the magic of cinema. But to three month old Hadas, there is no context. The movie of her life ended the night you were hard at work promoting yours.
Continue reading at the Sultan of Knish, AKA Daniel Greenfield
Sarkozy's main rival is not Gaddafi, but rather Marine Le Pen, the charismatic new leader of the far-right National Front party in France. A new opinion poll published by Le Parisien newspaper on March 8 has Le Pen, who took over from her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in January, winning the first round of next year's presidential election.
The survey gives Le Pen 23%, two percentage points ahead of both Sarkozy and Socialist leader Martine Aubry. On the basis of this opinion poll, Le Pen would automatically qualify for the second round run-off with one or other of the two mainstream party leaders.
Le Pen, who appeals to middle class voters, is riding high on voter dissatisfaction with the failure of the mainstream parties to address the problem of Muslim immigration. Since taking her post three months ago, Le Pen has single-handedly catapulted the twin issues of Muslim immigration and French national identity to the top of the French political agenda. In recent weeks, Le Pen has been a permanent fixture on prime-time television to discuss the threat to France of a wave of immigrants from Libya.
Gaddafi has already pledged that Europe will be "invaded" by an army of African immigrants: "You will have immigration. Thousands of people from Libya will invade Europe. There will be no-one to stop them any more," he warned on March 6 in an interview with the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche.
During a visit to Italy in August 2010, Gaddafi demanded €5 billion a year from the European Union to stop illegal immigration which "threatens to turn Europe black." At the time, Gaddafi asked: "What will be the reaction of the white Christian Europeans to this mass of hungry, uneducated Africans? We don't know if Europe will remain an advanced and cohesive continent or if it will be destroyed by this barbarian invasion. We have to imagine that this could happen, but before it does we need to work together."
Furious Europeans have compared Gaddafi's demands for cash to stop illegal immigration to a "Mafia extortion racket." But since the revolt in Tunisia in January, nearly 15,000 boat people (more than the total for all of 2010) have arrived on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, a 20-square-kilometer island that traditionally has been a major gateway for illegal immigration into the European Union.
On March 14, Le Pen upstaged Sarkozy by visiting Lampedusa and telling undocumented migrants on the island that they were not welcome in Europe. "I have a lot of compassion for you, but Europe cannot welcome you," Le Pen said. "We do not have the financial means."
Gaddafi’s compound in Bab Al Azizia in Tripoli, bombed by American Forces in 1986.
Gaddafi’s bombed home at Bab Al Azizia, Libya, 1987, by Peter Arkell/Impact Photos
Google Earth image of Bab Al Azizia, location of Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli, 2011
The most important aspect of the footage is the location where it was made. Gaddafi says, “I am in Tripoli”. More precisely, Gaddafi is located in front of his compound in Bab Al Azizia which was heavily bombed by the Reagan administration in 1986. Instead of rebuilding the shattered compound, Gaddafi chose to leave it as it is. The skeletal structure of the building acts as a powerful message of defiance and resilience. In 2003, just as Libya’s relationship with the West was thawing, Gaddafi even held a beauty pageant with international contestants, including British and American women, at this historically important site. The British photographer Muir Vidler produced a strikingly surreal series of photographs that depict the proceedings. The Bab Al Azizia compound would also become the backdrop to Nicolas Sarkozy’s state visit to Libya in 2007. The photograph clearly depicts Sarkozy’s discomfort for being turned into a strategically placed pawn by Gaddafi’s propaganda apparatus.
Muir Vidler, Libyan Beauty Pageant, 2003
Nicolas Sarkozy state visit to Libya in 2007
Hugo Chavez state visit to Libya in 2006
Today, a news release from the Cannabis Therapy Institute brought to light a February memo from the U.S. Department of Justice. It clarifies that regardless of state law, "the prosecution of individuals and organizations involved in the trade of any illegal drugs and the disruption of drug trafficking organizations is a core priority of the Department."U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag
"As the Department has stated on many occasions, Congress has determined that marijuana is a controlled substance," wrote Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, on Feb. 1 in response to a clarification request from the Oakland city attorney. "Congress placed marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and, as such, growing, distributing, and possessing marijuana in any capacity, other than as part of a federally authorized research program, is a violation of federal law regardless of state laws permitting such activities."
CTC says it thinks the memo could explain the recent increase in federal raids at dispensaries in California and Montana, where dozens were arrested, and the assets and bank accounts of the owners seized.
"Maybe this will wake people up who think that it can't happen here," says Kathleen Chippi of the Colorado-based Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project. (See more on her efforts here and here.)
The memo came in response to a query from Oakland city attorney John A. Russo regarding a local company's plan to build an industrial-scale medical marijuana warehouse, an operation Haag said the DOJ is "concerned" about.
"Accordingly, the Department is carefully considering civil and criminal legal remedies regarding those who seek to set up industrial marijuana growing warehouses in Oakland pursuant to licenses issued by the city of Oakland, individuals who elect to operate 'industrial cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facilities' will be doing so in violation of federal law," Haag wrote, continuing with strong words for those who assist dispensary owners. "Others who knowingly facilitate the actions of the licensees, including property owners, landlords, and financiers should also know that their conduct violates federal law.
"Potential actions the Department is considering include injunctive actions to prevent cultivation and distribution of marijuana and other associated violations of the CSA; civil fines; criminal prosecution; and the forfeiture of any property used to facilitate a violation of the CSA. As the Attorney General has repeatedly stated, the Department of Justice remains fully committed to enforcing the CSA in all states."
See the entire memo here; see the original Holder memo here.
New Jersey announced its six picks on Monday for treatment centers that can grow and sell medical marijuana.
The state Department of Health and Senior Services announced that the North Jersey locations are Montclair and Secaucus. In Central Jersey, the winners will locate in Manalapan and New Brunswick.
In South Jersey, Bellmawr has been chosen and another will be determined, either in Camden County or Burlington.
The Greenleaf Compassion Center will operate the Montclair location.
"We have developed a plan whose success would be measured by our ability to provide patients with products that will improve their quality of life," the applicant said, according to the state.
The announcement comes as legislators and advocates challenge the rules the state devised to run the medical marijuana program.
They include a limit of 10 percent on the THC content of the marijuana, as well as restrictions on doctors who sign up to participate.
One senator who was a co-sponsor of the law that passed in January 2010, Sen. Nicholas Scutari, is trying to use a little known section of the state constitution to overturn the Christie Administration rules.
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