31 August 2006

How To Stop Bush from Destroying the USA

This is more of a question really. Because I don't have an answer. I don't think that there is any one answer that is sufficient to the task. I think the answer is partly in talking, in voting, in grassroots political organizing, amongst other actions, direct and indirect.

First and foremost there is the information gap that plagues us so horribly. The great and overwhelming majority are not receiving a fair, truthful or accurate accounting of current events. Domestic attention to the Iraq catastrophe is truly dismal. We are not getting even 20% of the whole picture of how bad the situation is on the ground in Iraq. Innocent civilians are dying at a truly horrific rate. The masters of horror in the White House certainly have "Mission Accomplished" writ large across their blood and money soaked brows.

Now is the time for us as citizens of the USA to stand up and reject the white house rhetoric. No more violence in my name. How about yours?

Back to the topic at hand. I think that talk is one way to save the USA. We must start talking, to ourselves, to each other, to everyone. The voice of dissent must rise and loom large like a storm cloud over the minions of war in D.C. No more killing in my name!

That's the mission. Start talking about it.

30 August 2006

Bush Administration Intention to Deceive

The Bush Administration continues along the only path that has worked so far. The path of deception. The administration will propagate a pack of lies to support its self-serving agenda of market colonization and gunboat venture capitalism.

I hope the Canadians come to the rescue, and quickly! Or something.

Bush Team Casts Foes as Defeatist

Blunt Rhetoric Signals a New Thrust
By Peter Baker and Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 31, 2006; Page A01

President Bush and his surrogates are launching a new campaign intended to rebuild support for the war in Iraq by accusing the opposition of aiming to appease terrorists and cut off funding for troops on the battlefield, charges that many Democrats say distort their stated positions.

With an appearance before the American Legion in Salt Lake City today, Bush will begin a series of speeches over 20 days centered on the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But he and his top lieutenants have foreshadowed in recent days the thrust of the effort to put Democrats on the defensive with rhetoric that has further inflamed an already emotional debate.

link: http://www.washingtonpost...

29 August 2006

"Retroactive Laws Invoked to Protect Administration Officials from War Crimes Prosecution"

Retroactive laws... Is that possible? I didn't know that laws could take effect retroactively. Isn't that like losing the game, then changing the rules to alter the outcome into a win? Life doesn't work like that, and as far as I know, neither does the justice system.

Whether or not the Bush Administration is successful in seeking protection from war crime prosecution, we still have a job to do as citizens of the USA. We need to hold those guilty of crimes against the state, and crimes against humanity accountable for their actions.

Here's what PCR says.
Bush Turns His Terror War on the Homeland



Benjamin Ferenccz, a chief prosecutor of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg, recently said that President Bush should be tried as a war criminal side by side with Saddam Hussein for starting aggressive wars, Hussein for his 1990 invasion of Kuwait and Bush for his 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Under the Nuremberg standard, Bush is definitely a war criminal. The US Supreme Court also exposed Bush to war crime charges under both the US War Crimes Act of 1996 and the Geneva Conventions when the Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld against the Bush administration's military tribunals and inhumane treatment of detainees.

President Bush and his Attorney General agree that under existing laws and treaties Bush is a war criminal together with many members of his government. To make his war crimes legal after the fact, Bush has instructed the Justice (sic) Department to draft changes to the War Crimes Act and to US treaty obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

One of Bush's changes would deny protection of the Geneva Conventions to anyone in any American court.

Bush's other change would protect from prosecution any US government official or military personnel guilty of violating Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Article 3 prohibits "at any time and in any place whatsoever outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment." As civil libertarian Nat Hentoff observes, this change would also undo Senator John McCain's amendment against torture.

link: http://www.counterpunch....

27 August 2006

Moral and Ethical Bankruptcy

The United States of America, has attained, in the eyes of many, a moral and ethical bankruptcy.

Thanks to the vigilance of Lt. Ehren Watada, the people of the USA, the people of Iraq, and the people of the world have a chance to challenge the fraudulent foundations of the military operation in Iraq.

This is an opportunity to demand accountability for the political and military failure. Tens of thousands of American casualties and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties, lives and families torn apart, cannot go unanswered.

Certain justice must be brought to bear on the perpetrators of this criminal war. The Bush administration's deception must be met with a resounding call for resolution.

Join the call for justice. Support the truth, impeach, convict and arrest the architects of this foul war effort!

[edit 8-29: Here's a link to Lt. Watada's website, where there is information on how to help the USA: http://thankyoult.org]

25 August 2006

Bush Administration/Elliott Abrams Behind Israeli Attack on Lebanon?

Here's another example of a perspective, which is altogether lacking from the nation's traditional mainstream media. The Bush administration culpable for more mayhem and violence in the middle east? But no... surely there must be a good murder or arson to occupy the top of the page, or to take the lead television news story.

Something is drastically wrong with the USA, this article describes one part of the problem.

link: http://www.counterpunch...
August 25, 2006

Gangster Diplomacy

Elliot Abrams in Jerusalem

Since he joined the Bush administration in 2002 as the chief Middle East adviser at the White House's National Security Council, Elliott Abrams has quietly pushed for a transformational Middle East policy with Israel at its center. If one U.S. official were to be blamed-aside from the president, vice president, and secretary of state-for the U.S. government's disastrous stance with Israel in the recent war, it would be Elliot Abrams. Perhaps more than any other member of Bush's foreign policy team, Abrams embodies the administration's zealous, ideological, and dangerously delusional vision of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Abrams, a neoconservative who has dedicated himself to reshaping U.S. foreign policy since the mid-1970s, is the Bush administration's point man for Middle East transformation. According to Seymour Hersh writing in the August 21 New Yorker, Cheney's foreign policy staff and Abrams in early summer had signed off on an Israeli plan to wipe out Hezbollah.

23 August 2006

Ex-CIA Chief on Terrorism and US Foreign Policy

This worthwhile article is via Harper's and Ken Silverstein. Michael Scheuer discusses the connections between US foreign policy and terrorism (past and present.) Here it is without further ado:

Six Questions for Michael Scheuer on National Security

Posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2006. By Ken Silverstein.
Michael Scheuer served in the CIA for 22 years before resigning in 2004; he served as the chief of the bin Laden unit at the Counterterrorist Center from 1996 to 1999. He is the formerly anonymous author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror and Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America. I met him for breakfast last week at an IHOP in the Virginia suburbs outside of Washington. Over a plate of eggs and hash browns, he answered a series of questions about the current state of the Bush Administration’s “War on Terrorism.” His prognosis was illuminating and insightful—and, unfortunately, almost unrelentingly grim.

1. We're coming up on the five-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Is the country safer or more vulnerable to terrorism?

On balance, more vulnerable. We're safer in terms of aircraft travel. We're safer from being attacked by some dumbhead who tries to come into the country through an official checkpoint; we've spent billions on that. But for the most part our victories have been tactical and not strategic. There have been important successes by the intelligence services and Special Forces in capturing and killing Al Qaeda militants, but in the long run that's just a body count, not progress. We can't capture them one by one and bring them to justice. There are too many of them, and more now than before September 11. In official Western rhetoric these are finite organizations, but every time we interfere in Muslim countries they get more support.

In the long run, we're not safer because we're still operating on the assumption that we're hated because of our freedoms, when in fact we're hated because of our actions in the Islamic world. There's our military presence in Islamic countries, the perception that we control the Muslim world’s oil production, our support for Israel and for countries that oppress Muslims such as China, Russia, and India, and our own support for Arab tyrannies. The deal we made with Qadaffi in Libya looks like hypocrisy: we'll make peace with a brutal dictator if it gets us oil...
7. And finally, an extra question—what needs to be done?

This may be a country bumpkin approach, but the truth is the best place to start. We need to acknowledge that we are at war, not because of who we are, but because of what we do. We are confronting a jihad that is inspired by the tangible and visible impact of our policies. People are willing to die for that, and we're not going to win by killing them off one by one. We have a dozen years of reliable polling in the Middle East, and it shows overwhelming hostility to our policies—and at the same time it shows majorities that admire the way we live, our ability to feed and clothe our children and find work. We need to tell the truth to set the stage for a discussion of our foreign policy.

At the core of the debate is oil. As long as we and our allies are dependent on Gulf oil, we can't do anything about the perception that we support Arab tyranny—the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, and other regimes in the region. Without the problem of oil, who cares who rules Saudi Arabia? If we solved the oil problem, we could back away from the contradiction of being democracy promoters and tyranny protectors. We should have started on this back in 1973, at the time of the first Arab oil embargo, but we've never moved away from our dependence. As it stands, we are going to have to fight wars if anything endangers the oil supply in the Middle East.

What you want with foreign policy is options. Right now we don't have options because our economy and our allies' economies are dependent on Middle East oil. What benefit do we get by letting China commit genocide-by-inundation by moving thousands and thousands of Han Chinese to overcome the dominance of Muslim Uighurs? What do we get out of supporting Putin in Chechnya? He may need to do it to maintain his country, but we don't need to support what looks like a rape, pillage, and kill campaign against Muslims. The other area is Israel and Palestine. We're not going to abandon the Israelis but we need to reestablish the relationship so it looks like we're the great power and they're our ally, and not the other way around. We need to create a situation where moderate Muslims can express support for the United States without being laughed off the block.
link: http://www.harpers.[...]

21 August 2006

Bush's Psychopathic Tendencies on Display

Thanks to Eugene Robinson, who brings us this perspective of President Bush's Monday press conference.
According to the Iraqi government, 3,438 civilians were killed in July, making it the bloodiest month since the invasion. The president was asked yesterday whether the failure of the U.S.-backed "unity" government to stem the orgy of sectarian carnage disappoints him, and he said that no, it didn't. How, I wonder, is that possible? Does he believe it would be a sign of weakness to admit that the flowering of democracy in Iraq isn't going exactly as planned? Does he believe saying everything's just fine will make it so? Is he in denial? Or do 3,438 deaths really just roll off his back after he's had his workout and a nice bike ride?
Here's a link to the rest: http://www.washingtonpost[...]

I am pretty much disgusted. This is shock and awe.

Also, I'd like to point to a piece by Peter Dyer, over at consortiumnews.com. Here's an excerpt followed by a link:

On June 13, the Pew Research Group released a poll based on interviews with 17,500 people in 15 countries including the U.S. The poll showed that people in European and Muslim countries see U.S. policy in Iraq as a bigger threat to world peace than Iran's nuclear program.

Because of the disdain of American leaders for international law, manifested so vividly in U.S. aggression in Iraq, the international moral authority of the United States is at an all-time low. The post-World War II vision of a world without war, embodied in the United Nations Charter, has never seemed more out of reach.

Aggression (initiating an unprovoked war) was formally outlawed in 1945 by the Nuremberg Charter (Article VI(a)), a treaty signed and largely written by the United States. And although the Nuremberg Charter was formed for the specific purpose of trying Nazi war criminals, the words of the judgment make clear the intent of the court that the Nuremberg principles must apply to all nations and for all time.

“To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole. ... Crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced.”

In 1945, the U.S. also signed the United Nations Charter, a document which was nothing if not an attempt by the world community, as the first sentence states: “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” To that end the Charter clearly and specifically forbids violations of the sovereignty of any state by any other state, except in immediate self-defense (Article 2, Sec. 4 and Articles 39 and 51).

And in December 1946, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted Resolution 95 (1), affirming “the principles of International law recognized by the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the judgment of the Tribunal.”

Article VI of the U.S. Constitution includes the Supremacy Clause which makes all treaties signed and ratified by the U.S. the “supreme law of the land.” Because the invasion of Iraq violated the Nuremberg Charter and the U.N. Charter it also violated the U.S. Constitution. Sadly, President Bush’s disdain for many international treaties which the U.S. has ratified has made a mockery of his oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” But Article VI has not been repealed. It’s still the law.

link: http://www.consortiumnews[...]

I agree Peter, and I have been saying this for a while. We need to impeach, convict Bush and put him someplace where he has an opportunity to right his wrongs, or at least not do anymore harm.

20 August 2006

Request for Feedback

I have recently changed the URL for this blog, from rightleftwrongright.blogspot.com to robwhitlock.blogspot.com. I also changed the title, from "Bazz Fazz Flong Jompers" to "These are the Times."

I felt that the url, rightleft... was dualistic and too divisive. I changed the title because "Bazz Fazz..." was meant to be a temporary fix when I began moving away from the right v. left crap.

What do you think about the change?

Capitol Forest (Black Hills) from Olympia's Eastside

19 August 2006

Real Security by way of Sustainability

The path to real security runs along the river of sustainability. Real security cannot be reached through destruction - a vague war against terrorism - which has no forseeable concrete success. Besides the fact that the war on terror is only exacerbating the problem of international terrorism, inciting otherwise civil individuals, and groups, into acts of violence.

The author of this article, Alex Steffen, concludes, "The time has come to stop living in fear , and start building a better world."

I agree.
Bright Green Security
Alex Steffen
August 18, 2006

For the last five years, we’ve been kept in a panic state over terrorism, told constantly that it not only presents an immediate threat to ourselves and the ones we love, but is a danger to our very civilization. The result has been both that extremists have been more successful in spreading fear and authoritarian politicians have used this opportunity to reduce government transparency while eroding protections for human rights and the democratic process.

But is terrorism really the biggest threat facing the United States? And is more military spending really likely to make us safer?

link: Bright Green Security

16 August 2006

War Fraud

That's right. George W. Bush has done it. Committed war fraud. Next step, the house of corrrection.

The vigil and rally to support Watada's courageous stand and garner publicity prior to his article 32 (pre-trial) hearing was a really high energy event. To me, it felt like a success. I will see how much publicity comes from it. In a just world, news like Watada's would get main event type coverage. Unfortunately, domestic murder stories are ranking precedent in many mainstream USA media sources.

For my part, I had somewhat of a revival of my high school cheerleading activities. Maybe it is because Lt. Watada is 28 years old and I am 28 years old - that I feel some sort of camaraderie with him, although I haven't even met him. But I had a good time yelling and shouting slogans and cheers to the Fort Lewis types.

Some of my chants were as follows:

Bush sold the war on lies!
Put Bush in prison for war fraud!
Help us stop the war!
Support Lt. Watada!
Nobody wants to fight for a loser - Help stop the war! or, George Bush is a criminal!
War fraud is a punishable offense!
War Fraud! - (There's something I like about that term, it has a justified ring to it.)

Taking a Stand Against War Fraud

Today, supporters of Ehren Watada, and his courageous stand for truth against the Fraudulent Iraq War, will gather near the Washington State home to the Fort Lewis military base.

If you're in the area, please attend! If you can't be there in person, please send your best thoughts, wishes and prayers as Watada and supporters speak out against the wrongs of this war and its planners.

The Bush Administration will hear the call for truth and justice today. I support those military service men and women who resist and refuse this ultimately illegal war and occupation of Iraq!

more details and info here: http://thankyoult.live.radicaldesigns.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=105&Itemid=1

14 August 2006

U.S.A. Not Doing the Right Thing in the Middle East

This letter of petition that was published in The Nation magazine does a good job at highlighting the problems in the conflict, and condemns the actions of Israel in a reasoned and justified manner.

To extend the argument further, it is up to the USA to withdraw support off Israel, so long as they continue to pursue illegal actions and violate human rights standards.

Here's the letter with link: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060828/petition
Letter from 18 Writers
(including three Nobel Prize recipients)

The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner--and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis--there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.

That this "kidnapping" was considered an outrage, whereas the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources--most particularly that of water--by the Israeli Defense (!) Forces is considered a regrettable but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians, on the land allotted to them by international agreements, during the last seventy years.

Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones. The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called Justice. Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly--who but field commanders can forget this for a moment?

Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows, all serve as a distraction in order to divert world attention from a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation.

This has to be said loud and clear, for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognized for what it is and resisted.

PS: As Juliano Mer Khamis, director of the documentary film Arna's Children, asked: "Who is going to paint the 'Guernica' of Lebanon?"

John Berger
Noam Chomsky
Harold Pinter
José Saramago
Eduardo Galeano
Arundhati Roy
Naomi Klein
Howard Zinn
Charles Glass
Richard Falk
Gore Vidal
Russell Banks
Thomas Keneally
Chris Abani
Carolyn Forché
Martín Espada
Jessica Hagedorn
Toni Morrison

This letter has been printed in newspapers throughout the world, including Le Monde, El País, The Independent and La Repubblica.

13 August 2006

Stop the Insanity!

Things are getting crazier and crazier in America. As support for President Bush, his administration and their war continue to dwindle, life in America becomes weirder and weirder! Tom Englehardt wrote:
"Only yesterday, according to the New York Times, Vice President Cheney "went so far as to suggest that the ouster of" Senator Joseph Lieberman by Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary in Connecticut, "might encourage ‘al Qaeda types.'""
We have a madman at the helm, who acts as if he controlled the land and people in dictatorship. A man who denounces terrorism while he terrorizes. A man who calls for the rule of law while simultaneously breaking it on multiple fronts (wiretaps, WMD fabrications, illegal occupation of a nation, signing statement blitz, etc.).

Frankly I have had enough. Let us strategize and organize for impeachment, conviction and ultimately the incarceration of those responsible for these imperial actions.

Check out more of Tom Engelhardt's plug for Mark LeVine's article on chaos strategy (as well as Mark LeVine's article on the Middle East Chaos Theory) here: http://tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=110345

Here is an excerpt:

Recently, Craig Crawford wrote in a Congressional Quarterly column:

"The rest of the world might see the Middle East crisis as a cataclysmic event of potentially biblical proportions, but in his July 29 radio address the president echoed a persistent White House vision of hope rising from destruction. While taking care to note that the killing is ‘painful and tragic,' Bush sought to portray the tragedy as an opportunity for ‘broader change' that will lead to ‘peace,' ‘liberty,' ‘democracy' and a ‘more secure' America.
"You might think that it would take a truly self-delusional person to conjure up such a bright vision for this darkening corner of the world. But the president's rosy Mideast scenario is right in line with what has become a governing principle for him. Call it the Bush Chaos Theory. The president seems to think that the best way to get results is to blow things up and then see what happens. It is sort of like what curious kids do in their back yards until they learn that somebody could get hurt. Bush enjoys unsettling things, confident in the belief that an unseen hand will reach down, clean up the mess and make it all better. Create chaos, he apparently believes, and somehow an orderly world to his liking will emerge."

Mark LeVine, who has explored Bush administration chaos theory before at this site, takes up the spreading chaos in the Middle East and gives it his own special twist. Tom

101 Uses of Chaos

By Mark LeVine
Perhaps the greatest illusion of any strategists, leaders, or generals is that they are in control -- and perhaps the most hubristic version of this illusion is the belief that they can use chaos itself to further their control, to strengthen their situation. Our world today reminds us constantly that you ride that tiger at your peril.

Object lesson one: Iraq. While the world's attention and the headlines now focus on the Israel-Hezbollah war, recalcitrant, fracturing Iraq continues to spin out of the Bush administration's control. On August 3, Thom Shanker of the New York Times reported on a blunt warning from John B. Abizaid, commander of American forces in the Middle East, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing: "[S]ectarian violence in Iraq, especially in the capital, Baghdad, ha[s] grown so severe that the nation could slide toward civil war."

link: http://tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=110345

Images from Olympia

09 August 2006

"Lebanese direct growing anger at US"

Ever since the Bush administration came to office, the world has become increasingly opposed to US activities globally. This article from the Christian Science Monitor is a stark example of how some people around the world hold the US in very low esteem. Indeed, some wish death to the USA. Why do they wish death to the USA?

Maybe it is because the USA is responsible for the deaths of loved ones.

Check out this article for more.
While the US worked on a cease-fire agreement, Israeli warships fired on southern Beirut.

By Scott Peterson
| Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
BEIRUT, LEBANON – With his arm raised and fist clenched, Sheikh Hussein furiously expressed a sentiment rapidly taking hold here.

"We know who our first enemy is: America," he shouted before tearful mourners at a funeral Wednesday for 30 civilians killed by an Israeli airstrike on Monday. The white-turbaned sheikh led the crowd in a militant chant: "Death to America! Death to America!"

link: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0810/p01s03-wome.html

08 August 2006

Was Hezbollah a Legitimate Target?

By Stephen Zunes, Foreign Policy in Focus. Posted August 8, 2006.

"Whatever one might think of Hezbollah, it didn't pose a serious enough threat to Israel's security to justify a pre-emptive war."

Civil War in Iraq

It appears that Iraq has descended into a civil war. (Not that this is anything new - just that some in positions of authority are finally beginning to admit it publicly.) This is another indicator of the failure of the US military operation in that country - really, it is a symptom of the occupation. The question, as Harold asks is, what now?

So What's Our Role in Iraq's Civil War?

By Harold Meyerson
Wednesday, August 9, 2006; Page A17

Of all the signs that the American people are fed up with the war in Iraq, the one that the administration should fear most was put forth last week by a longtime supporter of both the president and the war, Virginia Republican John Warner.

While chairing a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Warner suggested that the president might need a new congressional resolution authorizing our presence in Iraq, since the conflict there has become (or, best case, may yet become) a civil war.

Now, that would be one challenging resolution to write. Once you've come up with "Whereas the conflict in Iraq is now a civil war between Shiites and Sunnis," what is it, exactly, that we are therefore supposed to resolve? In an Iraqi civil war -- which is precisely what we now confront -- what is the mission of U.S. forces?

link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/08/AR2006080800941.html

03 August 2006

Bush Budgetary Madness: "Dangerous"

I was thinking earlier today about the predicament the USA is in with George Bush et al. in the White House. A thought came to me: George Bush is completely mad. Yes, that's right, out of his mind, off of his rocker - looney tunes. Stupid, no. Deranged, YES!

Suddenly every thing makes so much more sense. Somehow, we have to figure out how to boot this donkey and his cronies out of their roost. They are recklessly endangering the lives and prosperity of too many people.

This is part of six questions from Ken Silverstein (Harper's) that Gordon Adam, a former senior White House Budget Official, answered. It lends supportive evidence to the Madness from on high that the World is subject to with the current administration. Here is a link: http://www.harpers.org/sb-six-questions-for-gordon-adams-1154646051.html

5. Have previous administrations relied on such sleight of hand to fund wars?
The Congressional Research Service looked at that question and found that in every previous war, since World War II, after one or at the most two years, the [President] planned and requested war funding from the Congress through the regular budget process. This time we are doing something new and dangerous.

6. What are the implications of all this for budget planning and public awareness of how tax dollars are being spent?
Putting 20 percent of our defense dollars beyond standard scrutiny has broken the budget planning process. The defense budget that is published is incomplete and meaningless and the emergency supplementals are based on a “trust me” system. As a result, our defense spending is dishonest and out of control. It is hard to know if we can ever fix this, but some in Congress are trying. Senators McCain, Warner, and Gregg got an amendment into the defense bill this summer that would require the Defense Department to ask that Iraq, Afghanistan, and counter-terror funds be put through the normal budget process next year. We will see if that requirement survives negotiations with the House of Representatives. It is doubtful that the Administration will comply with the requirement if it becomes law; they have not wanted to project future costs for Iraq or the war on terror at all.
link: http://www.harpers.org/sb-six-questions-for-gordon-adams-1154646051.html

02 August 2006

Israel's Military Action Undermines its Security

What will aid and abet a greater degree of security in Israel? Economic justice for the Palestinian people will. For too long Israel has held the Palestinians under the hoof of economic duress. The recent election of a Hamas government in Palestine has only exacerbated the situation by prompting Israel to put Palestine in a stranglehold.

Give the Palestinians the chance to prosper, and Israel will not find the need for a security wall, checkpoints and tyrannical sanctions.

Secondly: I am sick of hearing how those who oppose Israel's treatment of Palestinians, as well as the recent military action are supposedly anti-semitic. I know this conflict is laced with tones of religion. But, just because Israel is a Jewish state, doesn't mean that someone who is opposed to its militarism is automatically anti-semitic. I think it is simpler to analyze the situation without religious overtones. The facts on the ground are enough to dictate what is happening, without the need for religous justification or rationalization.

Thirdly, I point you to an article by Robert Scheer:
Israel’s Dependency on the Drug of Militarism
Posted on Aug 1, 2006

By Robert Scheer

Those who mindlessly support Israel, right or wrong, from President Bush on through the cheerleaders in Congress and the media, betray the security of the Jewish state. They are enablers who have encouraged Israel’s dependency on the drug of militarism as a false escape from the difficult accommodations needed to bring peace to the Middle East.

link: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/ 20060801_scheer_israel_lebanon/