EP's third year
Estimated Prophet celebrates its third birthday this week. As its author, I welcome a new year.
The year previous had seen 6 loved ones interred into the good earth, including my Dad. My relatives were old in their passing; losing their presence was painful, yes, but one accepts when a life's natural term comes to a close.
I cannot begin to imagine the pain felt by good folks like Cindy Sheehan, the empty space left by a loved one whos potential, whos future had yet to be realised. American and Iraqi and Coaltion folks have lost loved ones
David Letterman put "Loofa" Bill O'Rielly in his place when the loudmouth Fox commentator passed judgement on Cindy Sheehan, asking him if he had lost anyone in armed conflict. The clip is a bit long but quite entertaining. In Windows Media Player.
Death is something often hidden in our culture, I suppose to keep us from the uncomfortable rumination that one day we too will we cease to be ... One thing that will stain consideration of the Iraq War and occupation in the future will e the fact that all those good people died for nothing. For idealogues dreams of American Empire, at the whim of a sitting President who wants to make the history books, corporaions that truly want to make a killing (cash) in a rich, defenseless oil state- for politicians wanting to further their careers by looking tough on terrorism while keeping corporate and AIPAC cash flowing into their coffers.
Letterman: “I’m not smart enough to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feeling, I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap. [audience laughter] But I don’t know that for a fact. [more audience applause]
Paul Shafer: “60 percent.”
Letterman: “60 percent. I’m just spit-balling here.”
Hillary Clinton is the current Democratic Party top recipient of AIPAC largess. Her stance on Iraq reflects this I believe since it flies against the values of the majority of her constituents, should polls be believed. As does her belligerence toward Iran:
“I held a series of meetings with Israeli officials [last summer], including the prime minister and the foreign minister and the head of the [Israeli Defense Force] to discuss such challenges we confront. In each of these meetings, we talked at length about the dire threat posed by the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran, not only to Israel, but also to Europe and Russia. Just this week, the new president of Iran made further outrageous comments that attacked Israel’s right to exist that are simply beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptability. During my meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, I was reminded vividly of the threats that Israel faces every hour of every day ... It became even more clear how important it is for the United States to stand with Israel...”
The article from the New Yorker can offer you a sense of the power of AIPAC.
Hillary as President means more war. Oh, and about AIPAC- members have been spying on the US for Israel... Here is an extensive archive of Israeli spying on America related articles.
Israel has what are warmly called WMDs. The state used the nuclear threat to advantage in 1973:
The Israelis assembled 13 twenty-kiloton atomic bombs. The number and in fact the entire story was later leaked by the Israelis as a great psychological warfare tool. Although most probably plutonium devices, one source reports they were enriched uranium bombs. The Jericho missiles at Hirbat Zachariah and the nuclear strike F-4s at Tel Nof were armed and prepared for action against Syrian and Egyptian targets. They also targeted Damascus with nuclear capable long-range artillery although it is not certain they had nuclear artillery shells.
U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was notified of the alert several hours later on the morning of 9 October. The U.S. decided to open an aerial resupply pipeline to Israel, and Israeli aircraft began picking up supplies that day. Although stockpile depletion remained a concern, the military situation stabilized on October 8th and 9th as Israeli reserves poured into the battle and averted disaster. Well before significant American resupply had reached Israeli forces, the Israelis counterattacked and turned the tide on both fronts.
On 11 October, a counterattack on the Golan broke the back of Syria's offensive, and on 15 and 16 October, Israel launched a surprise crossing of the Suez Canal into Africa. Soon the Israelis encircled the Egyptian Third Army and it was faced with annihilation on the east bank of the Suez Canal, with no protective forces remaining between the Israeli Army and Cairo. The first U.S. flights arrived on 14 October. Israeli commandos flew to Fort Benning, Georgia to train with the new American TOW anti-tank missiles and return with a C-130 Hercules aircraft full of them in time for the decisive Golan battle. American commanders in Germany depleted their stocks of missiles, at that time only shared with the British and West Germans, and sent them forward to Israel.
Thus started the subtle, opaque use of the Israeli bomb to ensure that the United States kept its pledge to maintain Israel's conventional weapons edge over its foes. There is significant anecdotal evidence that Henry Kissinger told President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, that the reason for the U.S. airlift was that the Israelis were close to “going nuclear.”
To be clear: I am not for a nuclear weaponed Iraq. Or Israel. Or India, Pakistan, the US...
In a two party system, can the will of regular Americans be represented by members of the monied elite? To me the system seems broken. We saw Kerry last year, anybody but Bush and all. We had to pick the least bad candidate.
Death. Ariel Sharon seems in bad shape (link contains Israel National News video report as well as text). Do you remember when Israeli fundamentalists put a curse on him last summer? I bet ol Pat Robinson would be comfortable at their Seder.
Nutcase Pat Robertson is once again foaming at the mouth:
Conservative Christian evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson on Thursday linked Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke to God's "enmity against those who 'divide my land.'"
"He was dividing God's land and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations, or the United States of America," Robertson said on his television program, "The 700 Club," broadcast from his Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach. "God says 'this land belongs to me. You better leave it alone.'"
I think of Sharon as a war criminal blinded by nationalism. His history shows this to be true; I am ot relying on style here but on the facts. I see his humanity too- offered the same life circumstances, upbringing, milleu, etc anyone of us could turn out just the same. that is how life is, we are the sum total of our experiences.
Ehud Olmert is standing in for Sharon at this point. Here is a link I came across while trying to learn about him (scroll down for full Yedi'ot Aharonot Weekend Magazine article)
"We are approaching the point where more and more Palestinians will say: we have been won over. We agree with [National Union leader Avigdor] Liberman. There is no room for two states between the Jordan and the sea. All that we want is the right to vote.
"The day they do that, is the day we lose everything. Even when they carry out terror, it is very difficult for us to persuade the world of the justice of our cause. We see this on a daily basis. All the more so when there is only one demand: an equal right to vote.
"The thought that the struggle against us will be headed by liberal Jewish organizations who shouldered the burden of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa scares me."
If the problem is only the right to vote, I said, right-wing elements have a solution. They suggest giving the right to vote to Israeli emigres wherever they are or to all the Jews around the world.
"All these smart-alecky solutions," Olmert says, "will not rescue us from a boycott, isolation, and other scenarios that I prefer not to go into.
"Had I believed that there is a real chance of reaching an agreement, I would have recommended making an effort. But that is not the case. The choice we will be facing will be between less than a Geneva Accord -- which means a return to the 1967 border, the crushing of Jerusalem, and a struggle to our last breath to ward off the international pressure to absorb hundreds of thousands of refugees into the shrinking State of Israel -- and a comprehensive unilateral move, and I stress the word comprehensive. Through such a move we will define our borders, which under no circumstances will be identical to the Green Line and will include Jerusalem as a united city under our sovereignty."
"From where do you intend to withdraw?" I asked.
"I will not go into detail about the border," Olmert said. "I will merely say that it will be based on a maximization of the number of Jews and a minimization of the number of Arabs inside the State of Israel. I believe that will leave us with a proportion of 80 percent Jews and 20 percent Arabs. That way we can continue having a Jewish and democratic state.
"These borders will definitely not overlap the borders of the Land of Israel on which I grew up and was educated, and which I believed in most of my adult life."
Whoever says 80 versus 20, I said, must also withdraw from Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods.
"The principle that I raise," Olmert said, "allows for all sorts of maps. I will only say this: I was once asked what will happen if there is a Palestinian official presence in Al-Ayzariyah or Abu-Dis, which are located outside Jerusalem's jurisdiction. I replied: When the Old City is entirely in our hands, when the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives and Al-Shaykh Jarrah are in our hands, united Jerusalem is in our hands."
I just wanted to share some thoughts and food for thought. Thanks for coming by. I am happily amazed by the traffic this project recieves even when I take time off from posting.
Best in the New Year to you,