Monday, December 18, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
It is interesting that no one would write articles on "Can you tell the commonalities between Sunni, Shiites, Christians, Jews, Buddhist...?"
The article is an indication of the author's goal. If you are looking for conflict you need to find and magnify the differences, if you are looking for peace and harmony you would be interested in the commonalities. Win/Win can be achieved only through understanding and magnifying the common grounds. Any thing else ultimately would lead to lose/lose for all of us.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
It emerged yesterday that Mr Litvinenko travelled to Israel just weeks before he died to hand over evidence to a Russian billionaire of how agents working for President Vladimir Putin dealt with his enemies running the Yukos oil company.
He passed this information to Leonid Nevzlin, the former second-in-command of Yukos, who fled to Tel Aviv in fear for his life after the Kremlin seized and then sold off the $US40 billion ($51 billion) company.
Mr Nevzlin said it was his duty to pass on the file. "Alexander had information on crimes committed with the Russian Government's direct participation," he said. "He only recently gave me and my attorneys documents that shed light on the most significant aspects of the Yukos affair."
Investigators said Mr Litvinenko had apparently uncovered "startling" new material about the Yukos affair and what happened to those opposing the forced break-up of the company.
Interesting! Now Leonid Nevzlin can make up any document with "startling" new material and claim it to be genuine and "his duty to pass on" the information. Dead man can never say no that is fake!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
The article, Round up the usual suspects says:
However pure political and diplomatic logic makes it difficult to see Damascus behind the assassination. The day he was killed, Syria chalked up one of its most significant diplomatic achievements since its defeat in Lebanon in April 2005: the renewal of full diplomatic relations with Iraq.
You have Israel with completely opposite interest to Syria. Furthermore, they have demonstrated in their bombing of Lebanon that their intention is to create civil confict in Lebanon to create an alternative front for the Shiites and Hizbollah. As such, it seems to me the probabilty of Israel to be behind the assassination is much higher that that of a rogue element in Syrian intelligence service, or for that matter anyone esle. Essentially, if you are "anti Syrian" politician in Lebanon, your greatest worry is if Israel decided your blood is needed for its purposes.
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Sen. John McCain
Al-Sadr, 33, comes from one of Iraq's most prominent religious families. He's the fourth son of Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr, one of the country's top religious leaders. The senior al-Sadr was gunned down along with two of his sons in 1999, allegedly by Saddam Hussein's henchmen.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Lebanese Ali Mohammed inspects unexploded ordnance dropped by Israeli warplanes during the 34-day long Hezbollah-Israel war, in the southern village of Kfar Sir, Lebanon, Monday, Nov. 13, 2006, after they were gathered for detonation. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
The shells seems to have a "return to the sender" label on them!
Friday, October 27, 2006
Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, right, talks with a soldier of the Afghan National Army on a base in the eastern province of Paktika, Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006. Eikenberry was on hand to congratulate the soldiers for a battle with Taliban militants last week in which 22 insurgents were killed after ambushing a U.S. patrol. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
Notice the helmet, it is WWII vintage helmet. With all the fan fare, even on the occasion of the "Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry" visit, the afghan soldiers that are suppose to fight with the Taliban are entitle to a helmet that NATO soldiers would have!
And how much money has the Bush administration has spend on forming the Afghan National Army?
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
"I thank you, Allah, for sparing me the tyranny of the 'size 6 harem'" I repeatedly said to myself while seated on the Paris-Casablanca flight, on my way back home at last. "I am so happy that the conservative male elite does not know about it. Imagine fundamentalists switching from the veil to forcing women to fit size 6."
How can you stage a credible political demonstration and shout in the streets that your human rights have been violated when you cannot find the right skirt?
I highly recommend her books, it is very informative and good read.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
"we support the desire of the people to have a government responsive to their needs and a government that is free, truly free."
April 18, 2006
President Bush Welcomes Prime Minister Siniora of Lebanon to the White House
The South Lawn
President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora of Lebanon address the press on the South Lawn Tuesday, April 18, 2006. White House photo by Paul Morse
11:51 A.M. EDT
PRESIDENT BUSH: It's been my honor to welcome the Prime Minister of Lebanon to the Oval Office. Prime Minister, thanks for coming.
PRIME MINISTER SINIORA: Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, we just had a really interesting discussion. I told the Prime Minister that the United States strongly supports a free and independent and sovereign Lebanon. We took great joy in seeing the Cedar Revolution. We understand that the hundreds of thousands of people who took to the street to express their desire to be free required courage, and we support the desire of the people to have a government responsive to their needs and a government that is free, truly free.
President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora of Lebanon address the press on the South Lawn Tuesday, April 18, 2006. White House photo by Paul Morse We talked about the need to make sure that there is a full investigation on the death of former Prime Minister Hariri, and we'll work with the international community to see that justice is done. We talked about the great tradition of Lebanon to serve as a model of entrepreneurship and prosperity. Beirut is one of the great international cities, and I'm convinced that if Lebanon is truly free and independent and democratic, that Beirut will once again regain her place as a center of financial and culture and the arts.
There's no question in my mind that Lebanon can serve as a great example for what is possible in the broader Middle East; that out of the tough times the country has been through will rise a state that shows that it's possible for people of religious difference to live side-by-side in peace; to show that it's possible for people to put aside past histories to live together in a way that the people want, which is, therefore, to be peace and hope and opportunity.
And so, Mr. Prime Minister, we're really glad you're here. I want to thank you for the wonderful visit we've had, and welcome you here to the White House.
Lebanon PM hails exit of 'disappointed' Israeli troops
Mon Oct 2, 12:39 PM ET
BEIRUT (AFP) - Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has welcomed the departure of "disappointed" Israeli troops from southern Lebanon but warned much remained to end the Jewish state's "occupation".
"The occupier has left disappointed," Siniora told a cabinet meeting Monday the day after Israeli troops all-but completely withdrew from Lebanon after their July-August war with Hezbollah.
"But we still have tasks to complete: recover the Shebaa Farms, free Lebanese prisoners held in Israeli jails and the enemy still refuses to hand over maps of the landmines they left behind" after leaving in 2000, he said.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Anthrax Dispute Suggests Bioshield Woes
Iraq says it's closing in on terror head
FBI worries about an Osama-mobsters link
Last but not least..... From the video archives:
Video shows laughing 9/11 hijackers in Afghan hideout
Sex sells, Bin Ladin videos elect!
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
President Bush Addresses United Nations General Assembly
New York, New York
Imagine what it's like to be a young person living in a country that is not moving toward reform. You're 21 years old, and while your peers in other parts of the world are casting their ballots for the first time, you are powerless to change the course of your government. While your peers in other parts of the world have received educations that prepare them for the opportunities of a global economy, you have been fed propaganda and conspiracy theories that blame others for your country's shortcomings. And everywhere you turn, you hear extremists who tell you that you can escape your misery and regain your dignity through violence and terror and martyrdom. For many across the broader Middle East, this is the dismal choice presented every day.
Sept 20, using American Supplied Weapons:
A Palestinian girl sits on the rubble of her family home after it was flattened in an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. A Palestinian was killed by Israeli army fire in the northern Gaza Strip, security officials said.(AFP/Said Khatib)
Thursday, September 14, 2006
In a homecoming speech to his native homeland, Germany, Pope Benedict XVI quotes Byzantine empire....
"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the Pope said. "He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'" Benedict added "I quote" twice to make it clear these were someone else's words.
What is next "I quote" twice from Adolf Hitler statements on Jews and Gypsies?
"Jihad" has a simple meaning, it means struggle. Nancy Reagan called for "War on Drugs" in Arabic that would be called Jihad against drugs. There has been war on illiteracy, that would be Jihad against illiteracy. Right now people of New Orleans, and Lebanon have a struggle to rebuild their communities, that would be Reconstruction Jihad. And yes, there are some in the Islamic world that feel their countries are being occupied, the resources being taken away against their will, they have called for Jihad against the invaders.
He also says:
...fundamental difference between Christianity's view that God is intrinsically linked to reason (the Greek concept of logos) and Islam´s view that "God is absolutely transcendent." Benedict said that Islam teaches that God's "will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality." The risk he sees implicit in this concept of the divine is that the irrationality of violence can potentially be justified if someone believes it is God's will. "As far as understanding of God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we find ourselves faced with a dilemma which nowadays challenges us directly. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true?"
I am not sure on what logos his Holiness makes a claim that there is any historical "logos" in Christianity. Wasn't it the Chaotic church that was prosecuting the Galilee for reasoning that earth is round? Evne today, isn't it the Catholic church that is against the basic common sense issues as contraceptive and aids prevention?
May the victims of the Christian atrocities, the South American Indian culture that was devastated by the invading Catholics, the victims of the Spanish inquisitions, the victims of the crusaders, the witch hunts, the world wars....... one day will find comfort in that there is "logos" behind the christian atrocities.
It is far more interesting to compare the comments of the Pope Benedict with that of a Islamic scholar, former Iranian president Seyed Mohammad Khatami, in a speech he delivered at the Washington National Cathedral, he said:
"Jesus is the prophet of kindness and peace. Muhammad is the prophet of ethics, morality and
grace. Moses is the prophet of dialogue and exchange," he said. "It's good at the present time,
where war, violence and repression is so prevalent across the world, for all of us who are
followers of God's religion to pursue all efforts for the establishment of peace and security."
What is evident is that in the eye of an Islamic scholar, there is no putting down the Christianity or Judaism. For the pope it appears as if Islam is a nuisance that he just needs to deal with. Where as for A Muslim scholar he accepts Christianity and Judaism and feels that his interpretation is closer to reality. It appears that at least as far as the scholars are concern, the Catholic church is stuck in Byzantine times, while Islam has moved on with sensibilites that are required in the Global Village.
Full text of Khatami Speech is available at: National Cathedral Web Site
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
[After five years of fighting the "war on terror"...]"The very people that planned the attacks are the people who are in Iraq -- al Qaeda in Iraq -- causing that sectarian violence," he said. "Should we ignore that, I ask the senator from Nevada?"
Monday, September 11, 2006
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
September 10, 2006
QUESTION: So looking back with hindsight -- obviously all of us are smarter with hindsight -- no weapons of mass destruction, absolutely no connection to the 9/11 plot from Saddam Hussein; is that right?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, it depends on how you think about 9/11. I think we've all said Saddam Hussein, as far as we know, had no knowledge of, no role in, the 9/11 plot itself. But if you think that 9/11 was just about al-Qaida and the hijackers, then there is no connection to Iraq. But if you believe, as the President does and as I believe, that the problem is this ideology of hatred that has taken root, extremist ideology that has taken root in the Middle East, and that you have to go to the source and do something about the politics of that region, it is unimaginable that you could do something about the Middle East with Saddam Hussein sitting in the center of it threatening his neighbors, threatening our allies, tying down American forces in Saudi Arabia. We are in much better shape to build a different kind of Middle East with Saddam Hussein gone.
Except, Saddam in jail has been "tying down" more American forces than when he was in the palace. How is that in "much better" shape?
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Interview of the Vice President by Tim Russert, NBC News, Meet the Press
....But it is absolutely the right thing to do, Tim, because if we weren't there, if Saddam Hussein were still in power, the situation would be far worse than it is today.
You'd have a man who had a demonstrated capacity for violence, who'd started two wars, who had, in fact, been involved with weapons of mass destruction, who had every intention of going back to it when the sanctions were lifted. And by this point, especially with Ahmadinejad, living next door in Iran, pursuing nuclear weapons, there is no doubt in my mind that if Saddam Hussein was still in power, he would have a very robust program underway to try to do exactly the same thing. The world is better off because Saddam Hussein is in jail instead of in power in Baghdad. It was the right thing to do, and if we had to do it over again we would do exactly the same thing.
Q Exactly the same thing?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir.
Couple of Interesting points:
President Geroge W Bush and Vice President Cheney "demonstrated capacity for violence" by starting two wars after being in office for only 3 years. It took Saddam over 20 years to start two wars.
Furthermore, just as Saddam would hypothetically pursued a nuclear program against Iran, Bush administration have repeatedly threaten Iran with nuclear weapons, even though, there is no evidence that Iran is working on nuclear weapons.
It is interesting that Vice President is candid in that he says they would do exactly the same thing essentially with or without WMD. We know that Bush administration didn't have any evidence of Iraq WMD programs and fabricated the WMD stories. In a sense, Bush administration would have done exactly the same thing, as it did, since at the time it knew there were no WMD in Iraq.
So the real question is would he fabricate the WMD story again or would he use a different excuse.
Friday, September 08, 2006
"If it is decided that the area is Lebanese, not Syrian as the U.N. secretary general said in the past, and if Lebanon implements resolutions 1559 and 1701 fully, including disarming Hizbollah, we'll agree to discuss it,"
There are decades old resolutions that calls for Israel to leave occupied territories. Now if every one else implements everything Israel wants, then it would agree to "discuss" its obligation.
Furthermore, we know how Israel deal with people once they are disarmed:
Who does this joker think he is fooling with this nonsense?
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Trucks carrying rubble they collected from buildings that were destroyed following Israeli airstrike attacks on the southern suburbs of Beirut, queue along the coast of the southern suburb of Ouzai, south of Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2006. Hundreds of trucks lined up on the main coastal highway south of Beirut, to unload the rubble they collected in the southern suburb that was heavily attacked during the 34-day long Hezbollah-Israel war, in the Mediterranean Sea off Ouzai. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)
Friday, September 01, 2006
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah, the ADL came out with a statement that Amnesty International is borderline anti-Semitic, and that's pretty conventional from the ADL, that these organizations are anti-Semitic or then, you know, in other cases, they accuse individuals or organizations of being Holocaust deniers. None of this -- first of all, as I said, it's pretty commonplace in these organizations. The Simon Wiesenthal Center recently issued a statement condemning the United Church of Christ for being not borderline anti-Semitic, but functionally anti-Semitic, because they oppose the wall that Israel is building in the Occupied Territories.
Anyone who's a critic of Israel becomes an anti-Semite. And the truth of the matter is, the real anti-Semites, they don't really care about -- or the real Holocaust deniers, which is their other favorite epithet to hurl at people or expectorate at people who are critical of Israel --
So you take the case, you know, now there's a lot of discussion about the Iranian president's statements denying the Nazi Holocaust. Whether he actually did or not literally, I’m not going to get into now. It's not so important. For argument's sake, let's say he did do it. He denied the Nazi Holocaust. Now, you heard Mr. Weiner. He's very fond of Abbas. He says Abbas has nothing to do with the PLO. Now, you take Abbas. Abbas is an authentic Holocaust denier. He wrote his doctoral dissertation denying the Nazi Holocaust. He published it as a book in 1982. He said less than a million Jews were killed during World War II. He denied the Nazi gas chambers. Now there you have a real Holocaust denier. You don't have to really probe the meaning of his words. It's pretty straightforward. Well, he's the American favorite now. Everybody loves Mr. Abbas, because he does the American bidding. So they don't care that he's a Holocaust denier.
Let me just give another pretty indicative example. Take the case of Ronald Reagan. Nowadays many people are fond of Reagan. You listen to rightwing radio, which I listen to all the time, and you listen -- everyone loves Reagan. Everybody forgets Reagan was the one who went to Bitburg, gave the speech saying that the Nazi soldiers, including the Nazi -- the Waffen-SS, were victims, just like the Jews in the concentration camps. That was his famous statement at Bitburg. The ADL, which claims to be so vigilant about Holocaust denial, the ADL gave him their Torch of Liberty Award.
Then, just this past -- two years ago, Berlusconi, the president of Italy --
AMY GOODMAN: Former.
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Former president of Italy, gave this speech praising Mussolini and saying all the charges against Mussolini were false, he was basically a good guy. Three weeks -- three weeks after he gave his speech -- and remember, Mussolini passed the Anti-Semitic Laws, at the end of his regime, sent Jews to their death. Three weeks after he gave his speech, the ADL, Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, who is now accusing Amnesty of borderline anti-Semitism, they gave him the distinguished Statesman of the Year Award, had a big gala for him, and even fairly conservative economists like Robert Solow, Paul Samuelson, Modigliani -- okay, they're not conservative by conventional standards -- mainstream economists. They wrote a very irate letter to the New York Times: Why is the ADL giving this guy an award? Well, the answer was simple. Because at that point, he was the only European leader who was very pro -- he was very pro-Israel. They don't care about Holocaust denial. They have no interest in it.
Let me give you one example, just --
AMY GOODMAN: Ten seconds.
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah, one example, just from what you were airing a moment ago. You heard the speech by Rumsfeld, where he says that Iraq is like the Nazis in the 1930s. Now, remember, the tenet of the Holocaust industry is, never compare the Holocaust to anything else. Never compare, and if you compare, they say you’re a Holocaust denier. But that side is always comparing. The Mufti of Jerusalem was Hitler. Nasser was Hitler. Saddam Hussein was Hitler. Hezbollah is now Hitler. Iran is Hitler. Hamas is Hitler. Iraq is Hitler. They're the worst Holocaust deniers in the world, by their own definition. They're always comparing.
AMY GOODMAN: Norman Finkelstein, I want to thank you for being with us, professor of political science at DePaul University in Chicago. His new book is called Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History.
Monday, August 21, 2006
sraeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visits a school in Kiryat Shmona, hit by a rocket fired by Hezbollah guerrillas from south Lebanon. Israel's top government watchdog has launched an investigation into the war in Lebanon as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected mounting public calls for a sweeping probe into the 34-day offensive.(AFP/Pool/Ariel Schalit)
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
To further strengthen Lebanon’s democracy, the international community will also impose a binding embargo on all weapons heading into this country -- into that country without the government’s consent. And today, we call upon every state, especially Iran and Syria, to respect the sovereignty of the Lebanese government and the will of international community.
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Explanation of Vote on UNSC Resolution on Israel-Lebanon
New York, New York
August 11, 2006
I wonder how the embargo affects the massive amount of weapons "heading into" Lenanon from Israel.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Looking pretty well armed, bearded and ferocious! With interesting contrast to the Add on top... "What would happen to your family if you died"!!!
Same day BBC has another article. The Israeli are saying that they have capture the guerrillas that were responsible for the Israeli soldier captures. They say the person that was captured was a well trained, doctor-nated with training in Iran which of course he went through Syria (he might have seen some North Koreans too :) ). Here is where it gets excising, they say this brave, ideologically trained fighter confessed in less than 24 hours after their capture. They have already been paraded on TV! The nonsense doesn't end there. Look at the image of the fighters in Israeli capture video:
Do these fighters look anything like the Time magazine depiction of them?
On information coming out of Israel you can always be sure of one thing, it never adds up!
Monday, August 07, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said the war had killed 900 people in Lebanon and wounded 3,000, with a third of the casualties children under 12. He said a million Lebanese, a quarter of the population, had been displaced and infrastructure devastated. The Reuters tally of Lebanon deaths is at least 686.
A protester hangs a pacifier with a black ribbon to the gate of the United Nations House in Ankara August 2, 2006, during a demostration against the killing of children as a result of the Israeli attacks on Lebanon.
The obscene score-card for death in this latest war now stands as follows: 508 Lebanese civilians, 46 Hizbollah guerrillas, 26 Lebanese soldiers, 36 Israeli soldiers and 19 Israeli civilians.
In other words, Hizbollah is killing more Israeli soldiers than civilians and the Israelis are killing far more Lebanese civilians than they are guerrillas. The Lebanese Red Cross has found 40 more civilian dead in the south of the country in the past two days, many of them with wounds suggesting they might have survived had medical help been available.
Source: Robert Fisk: Entire Lebanese family killed in Israeli attack on hospital
The IDF and the air force demonstrated their long arm, their ability to reach everywhere that Hezbollah sees fit to situate itself, even if it chooses a hospital as its headquarters," said Israeli Brig. Gen. Yohanan Loker.
To me the video demonstrates the "IDF and the air force" and the "Gen. Yohanan Loker" are dellusional. What kind of a fool would show a video of an empty building as Headquarter of its opponent?
It gets funnier, check out the expert analysis of the video in this CBS video:
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
A general view shows Ramlet el-Baida public beach (White Beach) polluted with heavy fuel oil in Beirut. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) called for immediate action after thousands of tonnes of fuel from a bombed Lebanese power plant spread to the Syrian coastline, threatening to unleash an environmental catastrophe.(AFP/Patrick Baz)
July 22: he Israel Defense Forces said 15 civilians and 19 soldiers in Israel have been killed, and more than 300 people have been wounded.
Aug 2nd: Israel's military Wednesday reported 55 deaths -- including 19 civilians -- and 580 injuries during the conflict.
Majority of the casualties on Israeli side has been soldiers. Can Israel say the same about Lebannonies casualties?
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
The Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that "according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy."
All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians," the statement said. (Efrat Weiss)
And there is no Red Cross:
Monday, July 31, 2006
I think I found my answer in CNN today. This picture was on their web site:
An unexploded Israeli missile lies in a street in the southern Lebanese border town of Bint Jbeil.
The unexploded shells are like gold mine of explosives to send back to the Israelis.
What comes around, goes around, and it wont be a pretty site.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
A hole caused by an Israeli warplane missile can be seen atop the roof of a Lebanese Red Cross ambulance, one of the ambulances that were hit by Iraeli warplane missiles Sunday, in the southern coastal city of Tyre, Lebanon, Thursday July 27, 2006. Two ambulances with six workers, transporting a wounded man, a woman and an 11-year-old, were struck on Sunday but they all survived. Israel pounded suspected Hezbollah positions across Lebanon Thursday, extending its air campaign a day after suffering its highest one-day casualty toll since its military offensive began. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
SPIEGEL: Does that justify the growing number of civilians that have been killed?
Livni: As the government of the state of Israel we are faced with a dilemma: do we expose our citizens to this threat or do we attack? Incidentally, we are doing something that no other country would do -- we warn the people using Lebanese television, radio and flyers that we spread over the affected areas. We ask the people to leave their homes and get themselves to safety.
SPIEGEL interview, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni
Bombing the King David hotel is Not Terrorism Because:
A warning message was delivered to the telephone operator of the King David Hotel before the attack and also delivered to the French consulate and the Palestine Post newspaper. According to Irgun sources, the message read "I am speaking on behalf of the Hebrew underground. We have placed an explosive device in the hotel. Evacuate it at once - you have been warned."
Irgun representatives have always claimed that the warning was given well in advance so that adequate time was available to evacuate the hotel. Menachem Begin writes (p. 221, The Revolt, <1951> ed.) that the telephone message was delivered 25 - 27 minutes before the explosion. The British authorities denied for many years that there had been a warning at all, but the leaking of the internal police report on the bombing during the 1970s proved that a warning had indeed been received. However, the report claimed that the warning was only just being delivered to the officer in charge as the bomb went off.
King David Hotel bombing
Conclusion: If warn your victim, commit violent act, your are no longer a terrorist.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men write on artillery shells at a position in the northern village of Fassuta, near the Lebanese border, July 24, 2006. Israel's offensive in Lebanon is not aimed at totally dismantling Hizbollah but rather at preventing the guerrilla group returning to the border and attacking the Jewish state, a cabinet minister said. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen (ISRAEL)
Reuters - Jul 24 8:31 AM
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Text of report by Israel radio on 22 July
Envoy says US support Israel in Lebanon even if "mass killing" occurs Text
of report by Israel radio on 22 July
Israel's Ambassador to Washington Dani Ayalon says that the United States
is giving Israel its total support without any time limits to operate in
Speaking with our Washington correspondent Yaron Deqel, Ambassador Ayalon
said that even if a mass killing or other mishaps occur - which Israel has
been careful not to commit - the Washington administration will continue
to give its backing, and so will the US congress and public opinion.
Our correspondent points out that Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democratic
minority in the House of Representatives, refused to sign a draft
resolution in support of Israel passed by the Congress this week.
Source: Voice of Israel, Jerusalem, in Hebrew 1600 gmt 22 Jul 06
BBC Monitoring ME1 MEPol ak
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Israeli girls write messages on a shell at a heavy artillery position near Kiryat Shmona, in northern Israel, next to the Lebanese border, Monday, July 17, 2006. Diplomatic efforts to end Israeli-Hezbollah fighting gained traction Monday, with Israeli officials saying the country would agree to halt fighting if its two captured soldiers were returned and Islamic guerrillas withdrew from the border. Publicly, the officials continued to insist their goal was to dismantle Hezbollah. But senior aides to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert office said he told his Italian counterpart, Romano Prodi, that Israel would accept cease-fire terms of Hezbollah releasing the Israeli soldiers and withdrawing from the border. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Israeli Foreign Ministry official, told Reuters. Source
But you terrorize people and goverments:
"We are taking strong measures so that it will be clear to the Lebanese people and government ... that we mean business."
Israeli Security Cabinet Minister Isaac Herzog Source
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Smoke rises from an Israeli air raid as Lebanese people speed on the highway in the Zahrani region, on the Mediterranean coast, southern Lebanon, Wednesday, July 12, 2006. Hezbollah fighters launched a raid into Israel and captured two Israeli soldiers Wednesday, triggering an Israeli assault with warplanes, gunboats and ground troops in southern Lebanon to hunt for the captives. Seven Israeli soldiers, two Lebanese civilians and a guerrilla were killed in the violence. (AP Photo/ Mohammed Zaatari)
Friday, July 07, 2006
So I was puzzled when in interview with Larry King, President George W Bush says:
"When history looks back, I'd rather be judged as solving problems and being correct, rather than being popular," Bush said.
"The president that chases the opinion poll is the president that will have failed policy,"
I thought taxation meant that people’s opinion does matter. Or do we have taxation without representation here?
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Petros Karadjias, Associated Press
Rockets stored by Palestinian militants in a warehouse in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, burn after an Israeli airstrike on the building June 28, 2006
Looks to me more like a metal shop.
An Israeli soldier holds his ears as an Israeli mobile artillery unit fires a shell at the Gaza Strip from a stretch of farmland located near the Israeli Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Israel threatened to kill exiled Syrian-based leaders of the ruling Palestinian Hamas movement, blaming them for the kidnapping of a soldier by militants in the Gaza Strip.(AFP/David Furst)
British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett warned on Tuesday of the risk of being sucked into talks about talks.
"What I think there would be some concern about ... if we appeared that we were entering into a period of negotiation about negotiations," she told parliament.
I wonder if she feels the same about the Israel-Palestinian peace process. In 1993 you have Oslo Peace Accord the 10 years later you have "Road map for peace"
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
- Tens of millions of low-income Americans will soon have to show their birth certificates or U.S. passports if they want to obtain health care through their state Medicaid programs.
Because by limiting the "potential" abuse of the system by the illegal immigrants
The provision will save federal taxpayers an estimated $220 million over the next five years, according to the
Congressional Budget Office.
How nice! Interesting comparison here
Thanks to the good folks in Washington DCm we the tax payers don't even need to Geico to "save a lot of money"
Sunday, June 04, 2006
"As the former U.N. chief weapons inspector called Iran's nuclear program a threat to the entire world...."
The article talks about the former weapons inspector Hans Blix 's 225-page report to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the global nuclear arms race. It talks about the history of American aggression in the region since 1953 and talks about "a weapons-free zone." that include all countries in the region such as Israel. I suppose you can cherry pick sentences from the report and make your own conclusions.
As you might expect, there is no mention of the Dr Elbaradei and IAEA assessment of the facts in the article.
Today, June 4th, the headline reads: Iran warns U.S. on oil shipments Note what the article says:
The United States "should know that the slightest misbehavior on your part would endanger the region's energy security," he said. "You are not capable of guaranteeing energy security in this region."
Khameni did not specify what he meant by disruption or misbehavior.
The title of article seems to imply that Iran is threatening the oil shipments, but in reality is seems that it is saying that a war would have sever consequences for everyone. Is that a threat?
It gets more interesting...
But he said "we will not start a war. We have no intention of war with any government."
Khameni was speaking on the 17th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, who spearheaded the establishment of the Islamic republic in 1979.
Iran is embroiled in a standoff with the West over its nuclear ambitions.
The Islamic republic says it wants to pursue nuclear power for peaceful purposes, but the United States and the European Union believe it harbors aspirations to be armed with nuclear weapons.
Khameni -- who didn't mention the package of incentives for Iran to end its nuclear ambitions -- insisted that the country "is not pursuing a nuclear bomb. This is not true, and it is an absolute lie. We are not pursuing an atomic bomb. We have no plans that would require us to have a bomb. This is against Islamic principles. Building and maintaining a nuclear bomb costs a lot, and we do not need this. "
"We only aspire to building an Iran, which would secure the well-being of its people and serve as a model for other nations. We want to come out from under the humiliation of the last few centuries. This nation has power and dignity, but it has been denied us in the past partly by the betrayal of our own governments as well as by foreigners.
"We are no threat to anyone, but we are dedicated and committed to our national interests and aspirations, but if anyone wants to stop us, they will feel the wrath and anger of this nation."
This is followed by this paragraph
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad, however, has been taunting and rebuking Israel and the Jewish people. He said a few months ago that Israel should be wiped off the map. Iran regards Israel as a threat because of its reputed nuclear program and dislikes its treatment of Palestinians.
It is interesting in couple of aspects, notice that wipped off the map is no longer in quotes. I assume that this is due to the controversy over Dispute over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments on Israel.
But regardless of what Ahmadinejad has said about his views on Israel where did Ahamadinejad rebuke the Jewish people?
The most telling to me is the sentence that says Iran "dislikes its treatment of Palestinians." Doesn't that then implies that CNN likes the treatment of Palestinians by Israel?
Sunday, May 07, 2006
``Some of the nations we rely on for oil have unstable governments or agendas that are hostile to the United States,''
George W Bush
"But essentially, no group in Iraq that aspires to rule with legitimacy can act in a way perceived as being pro-American."
Graham E. Fuller, a former Mideast-based CIA operative
Friday, May 05, 2006
U.S. soldiers prepare to swim at a pool run by the Australian military at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, April 9, 2006. Top U.S. and coalition commanders and their staffs now enjoy an array of modern conveniences and amenities across the command center. (AP Photo/Antonio Castaneda)
Sunday, April 30, 2006
So some says they are concerned about Iran's nuclear program. Iran says:
“If the issue is returned to the International Atomic Energy Agency, we will be ready to allow intrusive inspections,” Mohammed Saeedi, Iran's deputy nuclear chief, told state-run television. Iran will allow intrusive inspections if dossier returned to U.N. nuclear watchdog
You would think that is welcome news. But Dr Rice says:
"And we have a choice, too. We can either mean what we say, when we say that Iran must comply, or we can continue to allow Iran to defy." Source
They have to comply what what she says "we say" or else. What does that mean? What is the law, what does the treaty says? On what basis does she says what she says?
This is interesting read.... What is bullying?
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
a governor announced a campaign to punish
African-Americans for alleged violence.
Step one is to confiscate the land owned by
African-Americans, evict them from it and use the land
to build massive new subdivisions. Only white
Protestant Christians may live in these subdivisions.
Step two is to connect these all-white Protestant
Christian settlements to each other by a highway on
which African-Americans are forbidden to drive. To
facilitate control, the automobile tags for
African-Americans will be a different color from the
tags issued to white motorists. Checkpoints would be
set up all around the state capitol to search and
harass African-Americans trying to enter.
Would you support such a plan? Would you hail that
mythical governor as a man of peace? Would you go to
your church congregation and ask the members to send
money to the occupants of these white settlements?
Would you lobby the federal government to subsidize
this new apartheid state in our midst?
.... Check your beliefs
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Asked whether the United States has proof that Iran's government was behind these developments, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon briefing, "I do not, sir."
The other article says:
Rumsfeld's comments expanded on his recent accusations that the Al Quds Division of Iran's Revolutionary Guard is trying to stir up trouble in Iraq by helping to move explosives and bomb-making material across the border from Iran.
It is actually an old technique: Big Lie
Office of the Press Secretary
March 13, 2006
Press Briefing by Scott McClellan
James S. Brady Briefing Room
And with that, I will be glad to go to your questions.
Q Scott, can I ask you about the speech? You say that there's a lot of progress being made, but there's more work to do. When you say that speaking for the President, it sounds like he's dangerously out of touch with public opinion in this country about the war. And these speeches, which are kind of a PR blitz for the second time, seem to be about communicating the policy, and not addressing what a lot of people think is a failing policy.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I think it's convenient to try to simplify it and talk about it in those ways, but it misses the broader context of what we're working to achieve......
Saturday, March 11, 2006
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice looks at a charango given to her by Bolivia's President Evo Morales (R) in Valparaiso, Chile March, 11, 2006. Rice and Morales met in Chile while attending new Chilean President Michelle Bachelet's inauguration. REUTERS/Maglio Perez
Bolivia's new president, Evo Morales, discussed his country's fight against illegal drugs on Saturday with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and then gave her a guitar decorated with coca leaves.
What a metaphor for all that is happening with Bush Administrations. It Talks about human right and democracy, then we end up with torture in Gunatanamo and Abu Gharib prison. It is fitting to talk about fight against drugs then give a give a guitar decorated with coca leaves.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I'd like to say just a word about the request here for democracy promotion money for Iran. We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran, whose policies are directed at developing a Middle East that would be 180 degrees different than the Middle East that we would like to see develop.
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Opening Remarks before the Senate Appropriations Committee
March 9, 2006
With the current anti American sentiment at an all time high in the middle east, I wonder if the Secretary Rice understands the endorsement she has given to the Iranians.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
The Washington D.C. Convention Center
10:10 A.M. EST
.....And we will continue to act with the kind of resolve that has made these past five years a time of progress in the broader Middle East.
Consider for a moment where we were five years ago, when President Bush and I took office. The secret planning for the attacks of 9/11 was already well underway. Hijackers had been recruited; funds raised; training had taken place. Some of the hijackers were already in the United States. In Afghanistan, the Taliban were in power. Al Qaeda was operating training camps that in the late '90s turned out thousands of terrorists. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein was in power, overseeing, along with his two malevolent sons, one of the bloodiest regimes of the 20th century.
Five years ago, there was a serious problem with proliferation, especially in the nuclear area. A. Q. Khan, the man who helped put Pakistan's nuclear program in place, had established a network that was providing nuclear weapons technology to rogue states including North Korea and Iran. And Moammar Ghadafi of Libya, one of the A.Q. Khan network's biggest customers, was spending millions to acquire nuclear weapons.
Today the picture is very different. The Taliban regime is now history, and 25 million Afghans are free. (Applause.) We have captured or killed hundreds of al Qaeda; put its leaders on the run; and closed the camps that had trained the killers. (Applause.) Saddam Hussein wakes up every day in a jail cell, his sons are dead -- (applause) -- and Iraqis by the millions have embraced democracy. (Applause.) Iraq's leaders reflect the decency of the Iraqi people, and no dictator is taking their money and giving it to the families of suicide bombers. (Applause.)
Only days after Saddam was captured, the leader of Libya announced he would turn over all of his weapons of mass destruction materials. (Applause.) A short time later, Libya's uranium and centrifuges were sent to a U.S. facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (Applause.) And the A.Q. Khan proliferation network has been shut down. (Applause.)
Our great country, which over the decades has aided the rise of new democracies in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, now serves that cause in the Middle East -- with courage, and firm purpose, and a level of generosity by the American people not seen since the Marshall Plan.
Five years ago, many would have found it hard to imagine that all these changes were on the way. And, obviously, they did not just happen. Because we've been willing to act on our convictions, we live in a better world today. We cannot know every turn that lies ahead in the fight against terror, and tyranny, and proliferation. Yet at every point, we will be patient and resolute -- because the supporters of democracy will need our help, and the enemies of democracy will test our will. And we will be confident, because events are moving in the direction of human liberty. Freedom's cause is the right cause, and every action we take in support of it makes this world better and safer for our children. (Applause.)
Once again, ladies and gentlemen, I appreciate your hospitality this morning. The President and I are grateful for your counsel, for your commitment to the security of our country, and for all you do on behalf of America's friendship with Israel.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
This was also in the news today:
"We have opened the Pandora's box and the question is, what is the way forward?"
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad
Saturday, March 04, 2006
citing an old Persian proverb with respect to the current nuclear energy negotiations.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Any one that knows anything about middle east would have to say Iraq is a lose-lose situation. There is nothing there for anyone to win, well other than the Halliburton, KBR, etc. It is a mess At best you have to limit your loses. For instance, Spain, it was quick to recognize the trouble in Iraq, it pulled out and was able to cut its losses. They won, or Spain lost less that then say England.
What is there to win for Iran (or that matter any country in the region) if there is a civil war on its eastern border. Would US win any influence if there was a civil war in Mexico? The arguments that Iran is somehow winning in Iraq, I believe are all nonsense. It is designed to distract attention from George Bush's disastrous policies. This is not unprecedented either, if you remember in Vietnam war, Laos and Cambodia were the scapegoats.
Here is the funny part.... let say we accept these arguments that Iranian influence is growing in Iraq. So there is US, a democratic government run by secular forces, invades a country, spends billions of dollar and spills blood of thousands of its soldiers. Then there is Iran, a non-secular, some say non-democratic government, without firing a shot, without spending any money, come out winner in the political games. Well if you believe this I have a bridge to sell you, or may be a conclusion:
If you truly believe this then you have to also believe that democracy, secularism, election... simply don't work. If they did you would expect the policies of a democratic government (such as US or UK) to be more in line with its interest than that of a non-democratic, religious government (like Iran)? Another world, if Iran is really winning in Iraq, then it would seem to me you have to also conclude that Iranian government can product better policy, and hence a superior form of government.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Dear William F Buckley Jr,
In you article "It Didn't Work" you failed to explain what the "it" was. As I see it at least there are two "It"s that didn't work .
First "it" can refer to the idea of bringing gift of democracy, tolerance, social institutions... all by "shock and awe". Only fools believed that this "it" would have been possible.
The 2nd "it" that didn't work here was the democratic processes in UK and America. A few were able to manipulate the democratic processes primarily in USA/UK to drive their foolish agenda. None of the checks and balances built in to the US and UK political process were able to prevent it from going forward. The media, intelligence service, UN, the congress... all were manipulated and the "cooler heads" were powerless to do anything about it. Just as Iraqis couldn't stop Saddam from his foolish policy of invading Kuwait, the political process in US/UK were unable to stop the Bush administration to pursue its disastrous policy.
And so now the clothing merchant has seen both failures and is not buying the company line. Why would he?
“This is more than a bump in the road, it’s a pothole,” said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of plans and strategy for Central Command, in a Thursday interview at a hotel near the Pentagon. Kimmitt said the ability of Iraqi security forces to address the violence occurring now is a major test of Iraqi forces’ competence, but that he remains confident they can do what is needed.
“We believe cooler heads are going to prevail,” said Kimmitt. “There are enough shock absorbers in the system that this is not going to lead to increasing sectarian violence,” he said, continuing the road metaphor.
Hmmm... “cooler heads are going to prevail”. May be one can hope. The problem is the batting average of the cooler heads sucks. Even in US cooler heads haven't been able to prevail how can one expect they would in Iraq. Heck, if the “cooler heads” were successful, the general would not have been in Iraq in the first place.
There is something interesting in the arguments by military folks, religious fanatics, or the right wingers (aka neocons). They believe their offensive would end the hostilities. For instance, they would advocate “Shock and Awe” to bring peace and democracy to a middle east. Same thing with likes of Bin Ladin, they believe if they bring down the World Trade Center towers Americans in their shock and grief would end hostilities in the middle east.
Fundamental in their thinking is that the other side has ample supply of “cooler heads” that somehow are not in the driver seat but with a high dosage of “Shock and Awe” or destruction they would be able to wrestle control from the crazies. In a way they believe in an elixir formula. In their magical world if you bring enough insanity, and at high dosages, to a conflict you can get long lasting sanity out of it.
Rather strange argument. There is a positive though, the fact that even advocates of insanity believe the solution would be in the “cooler heads” (albeit on the other side) is the good news. All we need now is to listen to our own “cooler heads”, rather than banking on other side's “cooler heads”.
I look forward to see bumper stickers that say: Support Our Cooler Heads.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
I run across this artile: Hamas leader lists terms for recognizing Israel. So Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas Leader, says:
"Let Israel say it will recognize a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, release the prisoners and recognize the rights of the refugees to return to Israel. Hamas will have a position if this occurs,"
Sounds reasonable to me. Then David Makovsky chimes in. His position? He is “director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy”. Impressive title! Makes you wonder if he brother to mother Teresa, or a disciple of Dali Lama! Here is what he says:
"This interview is filled with contradictions, including putting old wine in new bottles.”
Putting old wine in new bottle! Hamas Leader is asking Israel to recognize the Palestinian state. If that is an old wine, then what is the “Project of Middle East Process”? Do “The Project” believe in a two state solution?
But then it gets funnier:
"He is hinting that they might be reasonable if Israel does everything and they do nothing, while in Arabic they say they will not recognize even an inch of Tel Aviv,"
The language is funny... "hint" and "might be" vs "say" and "will not". But the content is ever more comical.
So “Israel does everything “ means Israel accept a two state solution and “they do nothing” means Hamas accepts two state solution.
Makes you wonder how the director of “The Project for Middle East War” would have responded.
But to add some spice to his views, he says “while in “Arabic they say they will not recognize even an inch of Tel Aviv,”.
Now this is putting old wine in new bottle. More like putting vinegar in wine bottle. This is what Israel always said about any Arab politician they didn't like. If it is so why don't they bring the Arabic text of the interview and let others translate it. That would be easy to do wont it? In this particular case the Hamas statements were in an interview with The Washington Post, does he have problem with Arabic translation of Washington post?
The Iraqi Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi, a minority Sunni Muslim in the Shi'ite-led interim government, warns of the risk of "endless civil war". His solution:
"We are ready to fill the streets with armored vehicles."
Shock and Awe, the "armored" division.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
"We're not seeing civil war igniting in
Iraq," Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a spokesman for the U.S. command, told reporters.
It also says:
Meanwhile, seven U.S. soldiers died in a pair of roadside bombings north of the capital, and American military units in the Baghdad area were told to halt all but essential travel to avoid getting caught up in demonstrations or roadblocks.
If it is not a civil war, then why aren't the millitary units in the middle of it to restore peace? What are they there for any ways? What ever happened to all those Iraqi units that were trained? If the conflict is so bad that the millitary can't do any thing about it, then why not call it what it is, a civil war.
``We understand its importance to Iraqi society and we want to stand side by side with the government in making sure that beautiful dome is restored,''
President Geroge Bush
And this one...
``I don't think we do the Iraqi people any good or really that we are fair to them in continually raising the specter that they might fall into civil war when it seems that the only people who want a civil war in Iraq are the terrorists,''
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
But we sure did Iraqis a favor by invading and occupying their country eventhough the only people that wanted the war were the Neocons in Washington.
QUESTION: Adam, to follow up on that, there's also obviously been several reports of reprisal attacks on Sunni mosques out of anger over this incident. What is your reaction to that?
MR. ERELI: Obviously we condemn them. And I checked before coming out here, there are reports of -- isolated reports of attacks against Sunni targets. Again, I think if you look at the statements by the political leaders of Iraq, they've all said the same thing, which is calling for nonviolence, calling for a period of mourning obviously, but calling for unity and calm in responding to these attacks. And that's something we will be actively promoting over the course of the next couple of days, as we have been, frankly, throughout the political process that has involved Iraq's development. I think we, on our part, are actively working with our partners in the region to speak out publicly to not only condemn the act but also to call on Iraqis to unite in opposition to what the insurgents and terrorists are trying to do.
So yes, we are, obviously, alert to the possibility of violence, but also I think very determined and energetic in acting to contain that threat.
QUESTION: If I can just follow up on that. This is not the first attack on a Shia target. Obviously, it's the most dramatic. You also have reports of death squads on the other side -- death squads. My question is this, are we right now in the midst of a civil war, an incipient civil war?
MR. ERELI: I think that's overstating the situation. Again, there are forces seeking to prevent democracy and obstruct the peaceful political and economic development of Iraq. That shouldn't be news to anybody. They seek to carry out the -- they seek to achieve their goals in a number of ways, but as I said before, promoting sectarian violence is -- and promoting sectarian violence is one of them. There's nothing new here and I think it serves as a reminder to all of us that there are some savaged and unprincipled elements out there that are going to stop at nothing, including attacking one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines, to promote the kind of unrest that the great majority of Iraqis have clearly demonstrated they don't want to see. I don't call that civil war. I call that attempts to undermine understanding an emergent compact among Iraqi society for a peaceful political future. And we don't think -- well, we are committed to preventing them from succeeding.
After reading some of the news items, and blogs on what is happening now in Iraq, I was speech less when I heard the State dept spokesman say: "There is nothing new here"!
If you want to argue that there is nothing new here, then you also have to admit that you have had three years since the fall of the Baghdad to try to resolve this. It is getting worst. So it is admission of failure of George W's policy. Shock and Awe doesn't work, Mission is not accomplished, capturing Saddam is not going to end opposition to occupation, destroying Fallujah didn't solve the insurgency....
But then I think I see his point. There is really nothing new here, Bush administration has no clue on how bad things are in Iraq, just as it never had. There is nothing new in that!
Like 7-Up, never had it never will.
In my opinion, Khomeni in 1978, just as Sistani in 2005 wanted an Islamic country run by politicians with clergies in the background. May be Khomeni to lesser degree than Sistani, but if you go back to history of Iran right after the revolution (1979) you see similar patterns. In the original Iranian constitution the President of Iran was head of the armed forces and most of the government officials were non clergies. But facing incompetence of the president (Bani Sadr) in facing Saddam's invasion, and the Kurdish rebellion Khomeni had two choices, either to sit on the side line and essentially see the country go up in flames, or take center stage. He choose the later, the president was ousted, the constitution was modified and made himself (with title of “the leader”) to be head of armed forces and the final say on all matters.
I see Sistani being on the same crossroad as Khomeni in 1979. He can sit on the side line and essentially make himself irrelevant or at some point he (or someone like himself) has to become “The Leader”. It is a difficult choice, and has its own set of problems. With clergies in power, it means they are responsible for daily affairs of the population, Sistani wants to avoid that but he may not have a choice. There may not be any other choices if there is to be any future for Iraq. Specially since 3 months after the election, there is no government in place, and US ambassador seems to be eager to micro manage the process for its own goals.
President Bush said: "..And if you believe that, then you have faith in people demanding freedom, if given a chance". To which I have to say... What I see in US policies on Iraq is that there doesn't seems to be any "faith" in Iraqis, and they are not "given the chance" to govern themselves.
We are three years into the occupation, something like 2 trillion dollars have been spend in Iraq (most likely Iraq now owes more to the rest of the world than the end of Saddam regime) and lives of Iraqis is getting worst every day. Three years into Iranian revolution, Iran was fighting Saddam and was able to push back Saddam's army and turn the tied of the war. With the current political leadership in Iraq, and the American/British occupation there is no hope for it dealing with the insurgency and bringing any sense of normalcy to lives to lives of Iraqis.
The Iranian model may not be perfect, but facing a deteriorating situation in Iraq, I would expect the religious leadership to step in and play more assertive role. Thanks to Geroge W's policies, secular voices within the middle east may well be at their weakest point in history.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I got to this and it all made sense: Sides blur for U.S. troops trying to secure Samarra .
SAMARRA, IRAQ - The gunfight by the Tigris River was over. It was time to retrieve the bodies.
Staff Sgt. Cortez Powell looked at the shredded jaw of a dead man whom he'd shot in the face when insurgents ambushed an American patrol in a blind of reeds.
Five other soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division scrambled down, pulled two of the insurgents' bodies from the reeds and dragged them through the mud.
"Strap those ... to the hood like a deer," said Staff Sgt. James Robinson, 25, of Hughes, Ark.
The soldiers heaved the two bodies onto the hood of a Humvee and tied them down with a cord. The dead insurgents' legs and arms flapped in the air as the Humvee rumbled along.
Iraqi families stood in front of the surrounding houses. They watched the corpses ride by and glared at the American soldiers
Then you read that US ambassador in Iraq is calling for "Unity" goverment!
If there is one thing to be said about this, you don't want to be the first American that runs into the one of the family members that "watched the corpses ride by and glared at the American soldiers".
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
And if you believe that, then you have faith in people demanding freedom, if given a chance. And the Iraqis proved that theory right. Eleven million people went to the polls in the face of unbelievable terror, terrorist threats, and said, I want to be free; let me vote; let me decide my future. And so on the political front, they're making progress because of the courage of the Iraqis.
And now the task at hand is to work with those who won votes in the new parliament to set up a unity government; one that is -- can help deal with the grievances of the past; one that unites under the fabric of democracy. And that's what we're doing. I talked to the Ambassador, Zal Khalilzad, there yesterday. He's spent a lot of time working with making our position known that we want the government to be a unified government
But what is unity government? IT means that the losers of the election, that is the people that got backed by the US and England, should take over the defense and interior miniseries. Why? Well because the Iraqis trust them so much.
It is a real funny argument. I have seen the ads of some of the people that were backed by US like Iyad Alawi, the former hand picked prime minister. It was obvious that he had spend a lot of money on his campaign. After all of that he lost the election by a large margin, may even have come up dead last.
The other funny aspect of this argument is what happened after the 2000 and 2004 elections in US. In both cases Bush victory was as close as any election in US history, Yet George W claimed that the election result gave him “moral mandate”, a political capital that he intended to spend to drive his policies. In run up the supreme court nominations, Democrats had pleaded with Bush to nominate middle of the road judges to help alleviate the sharp divisions in the country. But as far as George W was concern the few thousands of votes that he won the election with was enough to give him a moral mandate. But now Iraqis need “unity” government and we define who should be in the “unity goverment”, what ever happened to “you have faith in people demanding freedom, if given a chance.”
The equivalent of the unity government is to have Ralph Nader or say John Kerry's democrats to run the pentagon, or state department. Somehow when he wins the election “our position known that we want the government to be a unified government” goes to the waist side!