Monday, July 31, 2006
Israel calls 48hr Ceasefire after 2nd massacre takes place at the unfortunate village of Qana
These are 2 of the 34 dead children from the village of Qana. More than 60 people are dead now as a result of Israel using 2 guided precision missiles to bring down a 3 storey building that housed 2 extended sleeping families who could not get out of Qana b/c the roads were destroyed and they could not afford the extortionate taxi fares to Tyre. They hoped that if they all crouched together on the ground floor they would be safe. They were wrong. (You can see photos of the dead & pieces of the US made bomb here (very graphic.) "The strike that destroyed the building was a precision-guided bomb dropped from the air, the same kind of bomb that destroyed a UN position in Khiyam last wk, killing 4 UN observers. Writing on an olive green fragment of the munition which caused the explosion read: GUIDED BOMB BSU 37/B." (For an enlightening article about the large number of UN workers who have been killed, please check out this Aug 2003 BBC News piece.) Unfortunately, this tragedy is not the 1st time the village of Qana has suffered mass deaths at the hands of Israel. 10 yrs ago, in remarkably similar circumstances, on April 18, 1996, Israel blasted the UN compound at Qana where approx 800 civilians had taken refuge at the base. Israeli 155mm howitzers shelled the UN compound (UIFIL's Fiji BATT), killing more than 100 civilians. You can see photos of the '96 massacre here (very graphic.) The bombardment was part of the Israeli operation codenamed Grapes of Wrath, aimed (then, as now) at punishing Hezbullah for cross-border attacks and dislodging it from the border. (Hezbollah says that the Israelis targeted the base in retaliation for the Hezbollah attack on one of their special forces groups who were in action north and outside of the Iraeli occupied "security zone" laying landmines.) The truth? Who knows. But does it matter when over 100 civilians were killed while sleeping? Israel apologized for the massacre and said it had been an accident caused by old maps and poor calculations. Backed by the US, Israel blamed mainly Hezbullah for using civilians as human shields. But a UN report noted many inconsistencies in the Israeli account and said it was "unlikely" the deaths were the result of technical errors. What does Israel say about this 2nd massacre at Qana? Almost the same thing as they did in '96: "We don't know what the people were doing in the basement. It is possible they were being used as shields or being used cynically to further Hezbullah's propaganda purposes. We apologize. We couldn't be more sorry about the loss of civilian life." So they couldn't just be an extended poor family who couldn't get the hell out of there, and the only choice they had was to seek refuge in a building's basement? According to the Lebanon Daily Star: "Although most residents of the village of Qana (some 12,000 people) had already fled to Tyre, or headed further north, the Shalhoub and Hashem families had found themselves cut off. "We couldn't get out of our neighborhood b/c there are only 2 roads leading out and the Israelis bombed them both several days ago," said survivor Mohammad Shalhoub, a disabled 41 yr old who was recovering in Tyre's govt hospital." Well, I guess somehow all of those people were supposed to get out of there, or somehow avoid a precision guided missile, right? But when the Israelis gave this directive on July 28th: "Everyone remaining in southern Lebanon will be regarded as a terrorist," Israel's justice minister said... what real hope was there for them getting out of there alive? After the blood spilled and the rubble settled: 1) Israel announced a 48 hr ceasefire (praise the stars!), 2) A furious mob damaged UN headquarters in Beirut to protest the Qana killings, 3) Internatl condemnation gushed forth, 4) Many Jews are horrified that this massacre took place (includ CA's own former Dem congressional candidate Marcy Winograd) and many are encouraging Israeli soldiers to refuse to fight, 5) Here America is the GOP's finest when it comes to HYPOCRISY: The sick fucks at Free Republic had orgasms of joy over the dead children and called for more. Oh, and our esteemed Sec of State Condi Rice? Well, she cancelled her trip to Beirut, but if you read the Lebanese news, they say this: "Rice had been scheduled to meet w/ Lebanese PM Fouad Siniora on Sunday, but was told by the prime minister that there was nothing to talk about until a cease-fire is put in place: "She called me this morning and I told her clearly 'there is no other time than now to call for an immediate cease-fire." But Rice said from Jerusalem - where she met with Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert - that she had cancelled her visit to Beirut to press Israel for a cease-fire. Ya know what Condi? If you and your socially retarded boss had pressed for a cease-fire last wk, perhaps this 2nd massacre at Qana could have been avoided. And what do the Lebanese promise will happen in return for the deaths in Qana?: "Siniora called Israel's deadly air strike on the village of Qana "terrorism at its worst." Siniora also hinted that any Hezbullah response to the massacre of at least 60 civilians in Qana was justified." Great... and the cycle of killing will just continue, and you can bet the farm that the US will only back the team that they think will best benefit the Neo-Con agenda, and for right now, that team is Israel, who is sinking into BushCo's thinking of collective punishment... regardless of the human costs.
I have no idea what to say about this... but rest assured, this will ONLY makes Israel look R-E-A-L-L-Y bad and completely untrustworthy: Israeli jets carried out 2 raids at approximately 1:30 am local time near the village of Yanta, the officials said they were not authorized to give statements to the media. The village lies about 3 miles from the border w/ Syria and 34 miles SE of the capital, Beirut. WTF? The Israeli paper Ha'aretz says this: "The Israeli suspension of air strikes in Lebanon began early in the day and covers the entire country, an IDF spokesman said." The suspension of strikes allows for an investigation into Sunday's bombing that killed the villagers at Qana. YET... CNN says this: "Israel agreed Sunday to halt airstrikes on southern Lebanon for 48 hrs to investigate a raid that killed more than 60 civilians in Qana, an Israeli official said." Oh, then I guess that means it is a free for all & all hell can break loose in the rest of Lebanon, huh? WTF kind of ceasefire is this??
WHY? oh WHY??? A natl group that opposes abortion says it plans to fly a billboard-sized picture of an aborted fetus over Cleveland. The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform says the banner will be the most graphic picture ever displayed from the air, starting Monday. Well, for fuck's sake people, if you're going to make people's stomachs turn w/your twisted agenda, why not just make a giant inflatable fetus a la the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade variety and get it over with?... ya bunch of sick and disgusting freaks. I can hear Matt Lauer now: "And next up on the parade route we have SpongeBob and Dora, followed by Annie the Aborted Fetus. Granted folks, Annie is no fondled Santorum fetus, but still, she's mighty gruesome and dead"........... followed promptly by the anguished screams and vomiting of traumatized children .
Hey Il Duce Bush: Liberty is calling... she wants your dirty mitts off our Constitution
Bush has submitted a new terror bill which now says any US citizen "suspected" of terror ties can now be held "indefinitely"... seriously (via Yahoo): "US citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush admin, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill." Didja catch that? SUSPECTED of terror ties... NOT charged or convicted, but merely SUSPECTED. Forget the Bill of Rights. Forget due process. Forget the courts of law. Welcome to our own Guantanamo Bay, right here inside the US. Nice to see we Americans have thus far spent almost $300 Billion in Iraq to overthrow a frickin dictator while at home we now have a dictator getting ready to coronate himself King, Judge, Jury, and Caesar. "A 32-pg draft measure is intended to authorize the Pentagon's tribunal system, established shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks to detain and prosecute detainees captured in the war on terror. The tribunal system was thrown out last month by the Supreme Crt." I want to hear 1 single Bush Fan defend this. I want to hear 1 single GOP cheerleader cough up that absolute bullshit lie that they support the Republicans b/c they are mythically the party of less govt in our American lives. If you say that, then try to defend your beloved oh-so "moral" president taking a giant crap on the Constitution like this-- after he put his hand upon the Bible and swore to uphold it. Just try it. If you do, you are not only a fucking moron, you are a fucking fascist. Get the fuck out of America and take your beloved Il Duce Bush with ya. We REAL patriotic, liberty-loving Americans don't want either of you, not to mention the mere fact that our Constitution DOES NOT ALLOW this.
Nice... it is so nice to see our hard-earned tax money is put to good use in Iraq: "The State Dept agency in charge of $1.4 billion in reconstruction money in Iraq used an accounting shell game to hide ballooning cost overruns on its projects there and knowingly withheld info on schedule delays from Congress, a federal audit released late Friday has found. The agency hid construction overruns by listing them as overhead or administrative costs, according to the audit, written by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office that reports to Congress, the Pentagon and the State Dept." So Congress, the Pentagon, and the State Dept ALL were duped? And to think... we honestly thought that FEMA was the most inept and crooked govt agency to worry about. Sweet Jesus... I wouldn't entrust BushCo to properly schedule a gangbang in a whorehouse.
After reading this disturbing piece from the Wash Post about Pvt Steven Green (the Army pvt arrested for raping a 14 yr old Iraqi girl, murdering her and her family), I am even more convinced that the St Paul, Minnesota megachurch pastor -- who has taken a strong stance against preaching politics from his pulpit, engaging in gay bashing, & refuses to glorify American military campaigns, couldn't happen at a better time for America and for Christianity. Pvt Green told a reporter who interviewed him in Iraq: "I thought killing somebody would be this life-changing experience. And then I did it, and I was like, 'All right, whatever.' I shot a guy who wouldn't stop when we were out at a traffic checkpt and it was like nothing. Over here, killing people is like squashing an ant. I mean, you kill somebody and it's like 'All right, let's go get some pizza.' I came over here b/c I wanted to kill people." Keep in mind, this psycho was baptized just prior to being sent to Iraq. Funny, but I don't ever recall Jesus glorifying killing people in a time of war, and I know for a fact that Jesus never gave sociopaths a green light to commit unspeakable acts against human beings in the name of one's country, political party, or religion.
According to a new book, Australia's Major General Maurie McNarn did prevent the US from committing war crimes by stopping US bombing plans, which included hits on individuals & a plan to drop a range of huge non-precision bombs on Baghdad. Thanks mate... good to see you were able to save us from ourselves... and our bloodthirsty insanity.
Yes indeedy... "There is something fundamentally wrong w/a war where there are more dead children then armed men."
That quote comes from Jan Egeland of the UN. After the last 2 wks of complete global insanity, there is only 1 conclusion: The world is made up of idiots. While the Middle East is in meltdown, Bush is meeting w/the cast of American Idol. While the Middle East is in meltdown, we have an angry Muslim man waltzing into a Jewish community center in Seattle and opening fire on folks. While the Middle East is in meltdown, our elected officials in the House are getting for YET ANOTHER month long vacation, and what are the soul-less Repukes doing? They are only willing to discuss raising the piddly-ass $5.15 per hr min wage IF they can attach the Paris Hilton- Estate Tax break, (despite the fact that it has already been rejected by the Senate). While the Middle East is in meltdown, at least 443 people (mostly civilians) have been confirmed killed in Lebanon -and of that number, a third are children. Lebanon's health minister put the number at as many as 600 civilians b/c they believe close to 200 dead remain buried under rubble. Since the war began, 52 Israelis have been killed, including 19 civilians. 3 were children. 2 boys, ages 4 and 8, from Nazareth, & a 15 yr old girl from Mughar. All of the children were Israeli Arabs. While the Middle East is in meltdown, Mel Gibson the Holy ("holy" simply b/c he made a movie that Bill O'Reilly & the Religious Fright loves), gets a DUI... and reportedly spews out anti-Semitic slurs. While the Middle East is in meltdown, it is uncovered that the Rev Michael Jude Fay, a Catholic priest who resigned from a church in an affluent CT community, misspent up to $1.4 million in parishioner donations to lead a life of luxury w/ another man. I will not slip into despair, though. Some people are not idiots, and I have obtained proof of that. Meet Malka Goldwasser. She is the mother of 1 of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers... and she opposes the war: At a press conference in Paris, Malka Goldwasser, the mother of captured soldier Ehud Goldwasser, appealed for peace. "I am a mother, and as a mother, I don't want war. I have 3 sons, I want to have my 3 sons at home, I want to be able to raise them, I want to have grandchildren - I simply want to have a normal life. I say no to war, and I am certain that there are many Lebanese who think the same thing. The question needs to be asked of someone else - all I am, is a mother and I don't want war." Amen, Malka Goldwasser. Amen. This mother fully agrees with you 100%. Please read my UPDATE comment in the comments section. I made some "nuance" mistakes in this post, and I really do not want anyone to misunderstand what exactly I meant or intended... sheesh... I need to write & post before 1:00am.
Happy Now? Al-Qaida wants to toss aside mutual hatred and join forces w/Hezbollah
W/a poster of the burning World Trade Cntr behind him, Osama bin Laden's top Lt., Ayman al-Zawahiri, appeared on tape Thurs calling on Muslims to cast aside their differences and join the fight against Israel and "rise up seeking martyrdom and attack the crusaders and Zionists." Great. Like this joining up isn't the kind of stuff nightmares are made of, huh? Good to see that completely insane Neo-Con/ completely inept BushCo"doctrine" that began w/invading Iraq is working like gangbusters, no? Not to mention the fact that we are completely telling all of our Arab allies that the US could care less as we do "too little too late for Lebanon," Arab support for Hezbollah (which had been critical of Hezbollah kidnapping those soldiers) NOW surges in wake of fighting b/c they feel Israel has gone way beyond all self defense measures, and in the middle of all this chaos is our esteemed Sec of State Condi-- tickling the ivories in SE Asia. Now, I know that Hezbollah (made up of Shiite Palestinians who fled to Lebanon) and al-Qaida (made up of fundamentalist Sunnis) do not like one another, but that could all change if enough Lebanese folks continue to feel like Israel & America are trying to eradicate them. 1 prof of Islamic studies at NYU, Bernard Haykel, said al Qaeda wants to compete w/ Hezbollah for the leadership role in the anti-Israel cause. That could be true. And methinks that al-Zawahiri wants to steal some of Hezbollah's thunder since the focus has exclusively been on them for over 2 wks now. But let's examine what exactly al-Zawahiri said: "Muslims should "rise up seeking martyrdom and attack the crusaders and Zionists." The Zionists? Well, we all know that is directed at the Israelis. But the crusaders... well, that would clearly be us westerners AND Christians (as in The Crusades-- where Christian vs Muslim took place). Lebanon has 1000s of Maronite Christians who have peacefully co-existed w/their fellow Lebanese Muslim citizens. That can't be good news for them, and if the Lebanese Muslim community turns on them, it could easily allow Lebanon to slide into a fundamentalist state. On Hardball, Tucker Carlson reported that he hopes and prays that this war does not cause Lebanon to become a hotbed for other terrorists and for Muslim fundamentalists, esp al-Qaida, and esp since so many westerners & Maronite Christians have fled and will probably never return. He said that when he stopped in his Beirut hotel giftshop, he was shocked to see boxes of condoms for sale b/c he has never since anything like that in the Mid East. He also was shocked to see a gay bar in downtown Beirut, and added, if the liberal Muslims and Christians are removed or taken over by the fundamentalists, that kind of social liberalism will all disappear. According to the Lebanese constitution, the president must be a Maronite. How long do ya think that will last if fundamentalists take over? Carlson said that you can never tell who is Christian or Muslim since most women do not cover their hair, and freely socialize w/men. I guess if al-Qaida steps in, all of that "sinful" activity will be put to a stop, huh? When Chris Matthews asked him what did he think was going on w/the Maronite Christians, Carlson said he has been told that the Maronites have been warned to not offer aid or shelter to the fleeing Muslims. He said that the Maronites have been told that they will be killed if they do so. Carlson then added this: Where in the heck are the Christian voices on this war? Yeh, why aren't they stepping in and showing Christian charity to those in need and helping the Maronites to distribute aid to their fellow Lebanese needy citizens? Do the western Christians only care about white Christians... funny, but Jesus had quite a tan, didn't he?
Yet another example of BushCo's amazing "democracy" on the march.. in Afghanistan: Under the Taliban, the Dept for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue struck fear into women's hearts, beating those who let a glimpse of wrist or ankle peek out from beneath their burqas, or who dared to freely speak or act. To please conservative hard-liners, Pres Hamid Karzai wants to bring those "religious police" back.
Ha'aretz: "Israel's ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, said Israel would not allow the UN to join in an investigation of an Israeli air strike that demolished a post belonging to the current UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon and killed 4 UN war observers. Gillerman said: "Israel has never agreed to a joint investigation... War is an ugly thing and during war, mistakes and tragedies do happen." That is absolutely correct, but if you have nothing to hide, you would encourage the investigation to be absolutely transparent. Besides, Israel's stance against the UN investigating the deaths of its own observers will convince anyone who questions what actually happen that this was no accident.
1) The US-based Human Rts Watch has released a report that Israel has been using cluster bombs inside Lebanon on civilians. Human Rts Watch researchers photographed artillery-delivered cluster munitions among the arsenal of IDF artillery teams stationed on the Israeli-Lebanese border during a research visit on July 23. Those weapons were positively identified to be M483A1 Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions w/the help of a retired IDF commander, and yes, these horrific weapons are US produced and supplied, artillery cluster munitions. No shock there... b/c the US has used them repeatedly in Iraq and Afghanistan. 2) A French Humanitarian NGO has reported that Israel may be using cluster bombs and possibily white phosphorus in the war in Gaza. 3) Rawstory has put up the YouTube video of that CNN Karl Penhaul report I told you all about in my post called "Is Israel using White Phosphorus?" and 4) Journalist Dahr Jamail, who exposed how the US used white phosphorus in Iraq, tells Democracy Now's Amy Goodman that Israel is using the same tactic in Lebanon, and gives his own eye witness account.
As people around the world see Bush as a joke of a leader, we have this amazing FLIP FLOP by the Repukes: "An obscure War Crimes law approved by a GOP-controlled Congress in 1996 has made the Bush admin nervous that officials/troops involved in handling detainee matters will be accused of committing war crimes, charged & prosecuted at some pt in US crts." Their solution? Rewrite the law, of course.
Given how unbelievably terrible things are in Iraq, the news that this long standing feud isn't going away is not good: 1) Turkish Premier calls for NATO to join fight against Kurdish rebels in Northern Iraq. and 2) The president of the Kurdistan region in Iraq wants his own army to defend it against interested parties.
Spy agencies call for broader surveillance laws
The heads of the nation's 2 major spy agencies on Weds told Congress that it's impractical to seek warrants before tracking the global phone and Internet activities of groups like al-Qaida and terrorist sympathizers. (Well, it is impractical for me to stop at every red light when I'm running late and there is no traffic coming from the other direction, but guess what? I DO. It is the LAW asshat.) At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, CIA Dir Michael Hayden (who until recently headed the NSA) and NSA Dir Keith Alexander urged adoption of a proposal that would grant spy agencies more power and current practices more legitimacy. (B/c quite frankly, whipping it out & taking a piss on the Constitution IS getting so tiresome.) The proposed law amounts to a rewrite of the 1978 wiretapping law (FISA). Obtaining individual warrants "is less well-suited to provide the agility to detect and prevent attacks against the homeland" than it was during the Cold War era, Hayden said, particularly when investigators are in "hot pursuit" of communications involving al-Qaida and its associates. (And it really impedes their ability to track the goings-on of political enemies, peace groups, liberal churches, vegans, and other oh-so "dangerous" elements in America.) The bill in question was announced recently by Sen Arlen Specter after extensive negotiations w/ the WH. It would reduce the amount of info that authorities have to supply in warrant applications to the secret FISA Crt. (Really people... details shmeetails.) It would also allow for blanket approval of current and future electronic surveillance programs--a departure from the existing requirement that individual warrants be obtained for each wiretapping target. (B/c the march of fascism must be put on the fast track folks.) It also makes it optional for the govt to obtain crt review of the existing NSA terrorist surveillance program. (Well, I want taxes to be optional, but it's just not in the cards baby.) However, Specter and the Bush admin have given repeated assurances that the prez will submit the program he has publicly confirmed for review, (Oooh... a promise from Bush... that makes it A-okay) if the bill passes in the precise form that he wishes. (What?.. only if the bill passes in the precise form he wishes? Uhh... I thought he just promised... oh screw it... I've got some jackboots to shine, I've got to practice my arm salute, and I have to dust off the framed pix of Dear Leader.)
OMFG... just when I think things can't worst, I read this (via Harper's): "There's much discussion of putting a multinatl, NATO-led force in S Lebanon as part of a ceasefire agreement in the Israel–Lebanon conflict, but Condi Rice, according to a story in the Wa Post, has said that she does “not think that it is anticipated that US ground forces . . . are expected for that force.” However, a well-connected former CIA officer has told me that the Bush Admin is in fact considering exactly such a deployment. The officer, who had broad experience in the Middle East while at the CIA, said that despite ardent opposition by the uniformed military, Israel and the US are currently discussing a large Amer role in exactly such a “multinational” deployment, and some top admin officials, along w/ senior civilians at the Pentagon, are receptive to the idea. Sending US soldiers is at this pt simply an option and by is no means a certainty, but if the admin decides to move forward, my source said, "It would be viewed in the Arab world as the US picking up a combat role on behalf of Israel." Well, given that Israel says that the diplomats' decision not to call for a halt to its Lebanon offensive at a Middle East summit in Rome has given it the green light to continue, why the hell shouldn't the US just send troops, right?
Was the Israeli killing of 4 UN observers a mere accident? Yesterday, I said that it certainly could have been... but ... after reading this... I seriously think NOT: 1) UN officials said the observation position was well marked. A picture the world body released Weds showed the 3story building was painted white w/ the letters "UN" emblazoned in large black letters on all sides, and a light blue UN flag hung from a nearby flagpole that was roughly 50 ft high. Witnesses said the building, which was surrounded by concrete blast walls and barbed wire, also had the letters UN painted on the roof and it was illuminated by floodlights at night. 2) UN officials said Hezbollah militants had been operating in the area of the post near the eastern end of the border w/ Israel, a routine tactic to prevent Israel from attacking them. B/c of that fact, UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said: "We did repeatedly in recent days say (to Israel) that this was an exposed position, that Hezbollah militants were 500 meters (yards) away shielding themselves near UN workers and civilians. That's why it is so inexplicable that what happened happened." Even more inexplicable is this: 3) The UN observers in Lebanon phoned their Israeli military contact 10 times in 6 hrs to ask it to stop shelling near their position, and each time an army official promised to have the bombing stopped, but the shelling continued. 4) Once it became clear those pleas were being ignored, the force's commander sought the involvement of top officials in NY, a senior UN official in NY said, speaking on condition of anonymity b/c the investigation of the incident was not yet complete. 5) UN Deputy Sec-Gen Mark Malloch Brown and Jane Lute, assistant sec-gen for peacekeeping personally then made several calls to Israel's UN mission "reiterating these protests and calling for an abatement of the shelling," but the shelling continued. 6) The UN observation post came under close Israeli fire 21 times Tues —including 12 hits w/in 100 yards and 5 direct hits from 1:20 pm until the peacekeepers' post was destroyed at 7:30 pm. 7) After the fatal blast that killed the 4 observers, Israel agreed to give UNIFIL safe passage for 2 armored personnel carriers (APCs) to evacuate the position. They arrived at 9:30 pm and found the shelter collapsed and major damage to the rest of the position. Despite negotiating safe passage, those APCs also came under Israeli attack, and the attacks continued Weds when an artillery round hit about 10 yards from UNIFIL headquarters in the town of Naqoura. Israeli PM Olmert said: "It's inconceivable for the UN to define an error as an apparently deliberate action." So lemme get this straight: After 10 calls to the Israeli military, after several personal phone calls from the UN in NY to Israel, after providing APCs to the rescuers who tried to assess the fatalities-- and then the shelling even rained down upon the rescuers..... and Olmert honestly thinks this sounds like just a mere error? To quote Dr Evil: "Riiiiight."
This is precisely why the actions of the US & Israel will only cause more loss for Israel & INCREASE hatred for the US (via Kevin Sites): "An Israeli missile obliterated an empty 7 story apt building in the city of Tyre on Weds, wounding 13 people, incl 6 children, who were living in the building next door. The target was reportedly the offices of Hezbollah's S. Lebanon commander, Sheik Nabil Kaouk. It was the 2nd missile strike in less than 3 days against the same residential neighborhood, although this one was much more powerful than the 1st. When I entered the building to see if there were other casualties, I was greeted w/ the anger and frustration that has been growing during this 2wk offensive that has killed 100s, destroyed millions of dollars of infrastructure and unraveled Lebanon's hard-won economic progress. Those inside screamed at me in Arabic to get out, tried to push my camera away, & 1 guy took a swing at me. 1 man walking amid the rubble was a doctor that I had talked to in his office earlier in the day. I asked him why he thought the building was targeted. "This is an example of American democracy," Dr. Raed Ghassan said. "This was my house. I hate America. I will fight America every day, every time." I asked him if he thought America was responsible for this, but he just walked away." Aaah yes... winning the hearts and minds every time, aren't we? B/c God knows, after watching us turn Iraq into an absolute clusterfuck bloodletting, and now our complete support of this utter leveling of Lebanon, we can afford to have another Middle Eastern nation despise us, huh?...and BushCo's freedom just march- march- marches on.
American trapped inside Lebanon says Israel is using white phosphorus
So I'm perusing online news and I see 2 bits of awful news: 1) the very tragic news that a 15 yr old Israeli girl was killed when a rocket from Hezbollah landed on her house, and 2) this particular article at Yahoo called "No Exit" by Kevin Sites is frontpaged. I skim thru it and my reading stops dead when I come across this: "Zeinab Shahen, from Los Angeles, was also staying in Yaroun for the summer w/ her husband and 4 children. She arrived at the Rest House w/ the others, but says she had a close call when the Israelis fired a rocket near one of the vehicles they were riding in. "Where the rocket hit it didn't damage the car much, luckily," says Zeinab. "They're using bombs, phosphorous or something. It burns. It melts. They're burning people inside their houses. They're burning cars, they're melting cars. No one can leave. We barely made it." Yet another report that Israel is illegally dropping phosphorus in civilian areas. I skip down to read the comments left about the Sites' article, and I am just struck by the complete stupidity of people who say things like this: "Why in the world are all these Americans in one of the most historically unstable war zones? He's there w/ his wife and 4 children for the summer? Whatever happened to taking the family to Disneyland?" OR this: "There have been state dept warnings to stay out of the MidEast for 4 yrs! So stop whining! You created your situation w/no thought for the safety of your family! You idiot." Yeah, b/c God forbid family, loved ones and friends visit cherished family, loved ones, and friends during their summer vacations, right? And isn't that really the question that typical dumb asses refuse to investigate: Isn't it odd that Americans really don't wonder why exactly 25K Americans, 24K Australians, and 1000s of other westerners choose to live/ visit Lebanon? I wonder why that would be the case? Let's face it, we Americans are creatures of comfort. We wouldn't live in a nation unless it offered us almost every convenience we enjoyed at home, we wouldn't live in abject poverty or constant fighting, we wouldn't live where we would be forced to veil our women, or where westerners fear kidnappings as they now do in Iraq. So, why do westerners live there? B/c Lebanon is a very modern nation (not just ideologically, it literally has newly sprung from the ashes after Israel destroyed to rubble in 1982) w/ a very peaceful mix of Muslims and Maronite Christians and people from different nations around the globe. Beirut was called the Paris of the Middle East. C'mon people, when GOP-loving Tucker Carlson says to Chris Matthews on Tues night's Hardball that he and others inside Beirut cannot understand why ALL of Lebanon has been destroyed, are asking why in hell are the bombs taking out entire Maronite Christian neighborhoods, (and yet NBC's Nightly News reports that some Christian neighbors are completely untouched and life goes on normally) and Tucker wonders if the actual goal all along is to level Lebanon like a parking lot, ya know it has to be bad. It makes you wonder why a nation, that Bush himself praised as such a model of democracy in the Middle East, has to be leveled to dust... guess all that democracy praise flew out the window when Bush rushed all of those US bombs over to Israel, huh? Again, I say the reason behind the westerner exodus: By ridding Lebanon of her western citizens, this war can escalate to God knows what proportions, and God knows what can happen to the poor souls who aren't lucky enough to have western connections to get out. Where are these Lebanese people going when they flee from their homes? Are they all just wandering around in the wilderness? The humantarian crisis alone will turn formerly peaceful people against Israel and the US after this latest debacle and bloodletting. This FL Lebanese-American sums it up best: "Israel may weaken Hezbollah, he said, but a shattered Lebanon will only offer more opportunity for Syrians, Iranians and others like al-Qaida to infiltrate the region. Now, you have to ask, if things were so bad before, what could they be like after this?" Unfortunately for him and all of the Lebanese people, no one seems to care to ask that question... but just look at Iraq, and you'll know that they simply don't give a damn.
Now of course, under the tenets of ACTUAL Christianity (heck, under the tenets of every religion, yet winguts of every faith ignore that) all life, and every life, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Bhuddist, etc., has equal importance and value. But in Religious Fright world... not so much... unless of course you are a fetus... or wealthy... or both... but I digress.. As we watch the Middle East go into a meltdown, Bush still aimlessly wanders around telling people "All is well. I told ya invading Iraq was gonna work like gangbusters over there," AND ya just can't ignore facts like this: "Sunni, Shia, & Kurd may agree on little else, but all have made sport of brutalizing their Christian neighbors, 100s of whom have been slaughtered since the US invasion in Iraq. According to Iraqi estimates, between 40,000 and 100,000 have fled since 2004, many following their own road to Damascus across the Syrian border or to Jordan, while many more have been displaced w/in Iraq. As for the country that loosed the furies against them, the US refuses to provide Iraqi Christians protection of any kind." My oh my... do War Fans Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell know that? I wonder how the uber-Evangelical wingut War Fans would feel about a story like this? OR perhaps about one like this? Seems to me that Capt Clueless opened up a can of Hell of Earth for everyone in the Mid East, but it may be especially bad for those who share his own religious faith. Ya would've thought God might have warned Dubya about THAT when he was telling Bush to invade Iraq, eh?
WashPost: The Senate voted late yesterday to make it a crime to take a pregnant minor to another state to obtain an abortion w/o her parents' knowledge, handing a long-sought victory to the Bush admin and abortion opponents. The WH said the measure would "protect the health and safety of minors" and "protect the rights of parents to be involved in the medical decisions of their minor daughters consistent w/ the widespread belief among authorities in the field that it is the parents of a pregnant minor who are best suited to provide her counsel, guidance and support." UNLESS HER FATHER IS THE ONE WHO IMPREGNATED HER!! Opponents said the Senate measure could threaten the safety of girls, saying parents might hurt their daughters if they find out about plans for an abortion. The proponents' approach "is not to deal w/ the reality of young people" in troubled families, said Sen Dick Durbin (D-IL). (GOP and reality? What's that?) He cited the case of an Idaho man who impregnated his 13 yr old daughter and then killed her when he learned she had scheduled an abortion. And we all know that the death of that 13 yr old girl was A-okay w/the wingnuts b/c any slut who dared to force her own daddy to screw her and then dared to get rid of her fetus deserved death. In a statement, Bush said: "I appreciate the Senate's efforts to preserve the integrity of state law and protect our nation's families."... and then added this: Phew! Thank God ya'll let the "Daddy's lil slut bill" pass... we gotta count on the f-ed up incest gene pool of the GOP to fill our base and vote, and we all know how the GOP just LOVES children, right?
WOO HOO!: "In my opinion, only this type of opposition that I've chosen will put an end to the madness that is going on now and will shatter the false feeling that the entire home front supports this unnecessary war that is based on deceptive considerations.".... These are the words of Reserve Staff Sgt Itzik Shabbat, 28. He is the first conciencious objector to the Israeli attack on Lebanon. Awesome... good on him and to all conciencious objectors who are willing to defend their nation, but are not willing to be made into govt murderers.
Israeli warplanes bombarded a UN post in S Lebanon on Tues, killing 4 observers in a strike that SecGen Kofi Annan termed "apparently deliberate." Why deliberate you ask? Well... The 4 UN observers -from Austria, Canada, China & Finland- had taken shelter in a bunker under the post after it was earlier shelled 14 times by Israeli artillery, and a rescue team was also shelled as it tried to clear the rubble, the UN has been operational in the border area since 1978 and is currently 2000 strong, the coordinated artillery and aerial attack took place on a long established and clearly marked UN post, and personal assurances were given by PM Olmert to Kofi Annan that UN positions would be spared Israeli fire. Israel denied their country would deliberately target a UN post and said it was under investigation. So let me get this straight: They shelled a clearly marked UN building 14 times before bombing it from the sky then continued shelling rescuers... but it was all an accident TWICE? I guess that explains why Finland's Foreign Minister called the news of the death of the Finnish and other internatl UN observers in Lebanon "truly tragic" and added: "Israel's surgical strikes seem to hit mainly everybody else than Hezbollah. 100s of civilians and internatl personnel have been killed. This is not the way to reach military goals." Could this all be a mistake? Sure. But if you read this about when Israel hit the USS Liberty in 1967 w/machine guns, torpedoes and napalm, you might not take that "it was just a mistake" and "we never use chemical weapons against people" as the gospel: "Israel used napalm during the 1967 war and in the 1980's in Lebanon. On June 8, 1967, Israel attacked the USS Liberty. 34 US soldiers were killed and 171 were wounded. Both the US and Israeli govts ruled the attack a tragic case of mistaken identity, but many survivors remain unconvinced. The Israeli forces attacked the ship with napalm, with canon fire, and with torpedoes. They did everything they could to blow up the ship; firing, for example, 5 torpedoes at the ship, 1 of which blew a 40 ft hole into the ship. This was followed by shots at the life rafts of people trying to escape the ship." Wow, and all of this happened while a giant American flag was whipping in the breeze of the ship. Read this to see how both sides lied & tried to cover up... hmm... just like they do now. I guess they smoothed things all over once they decided to launch the beginnings of the modern-day Neo-Cons (a reaction to the Great Society projects of Lyndon Johnson's presidency) and their ultimate goal: Their prized evil baby: The PNAC.
Is Israel using White Phosphorus?
Sunday night I watched Anderson Cooper 360 and caught this report by CNN's Karl Penhaul, in S.Lebanon: Penhaul: Just yards away, in the hospital, more civilian casualties maimed in air strikes. Dr Wahid Najir claims the Israelis have packed their bombs w/ chemicals to burn their victims. Dr Najir: This is the effect of what sort of, this is phosphorus. Penhaul: Internatl rules of war forbid the use of weapons that cause indiscriminate suffering, but no specific reference, though, to phosphorus. The Israeli defense forces say its weapons/ ammunition conform to internatl law. I'm unable to get independent confirmation of Najir's allegation, but it's a widely held view here. (well Penhaul, internatl law certainly didn't stop the US from admitting to using in Iraq, now did it?) Penhaul: There's a smell of phosphorus and the wound smells and is black, the doctor tells me. (like this 1st pix) It's really an atrocious war. Only the civilians are suffering." Yes, and plenty of them are. This site has horrific pix and says this: Look if you dare. Maybe Penhaul can confirm this: Forbes magazine is reporting that patients are being admitted to hospitals w/ phosphorus incendiary weapons used by Israel. Kos & TPM is reporting that chemical weapons are being used against Lebanese civilians. Yahoo news is reporting that "cluster munitions" have been used on Lebanese civilians by Israeli artillery. Forbes and the Internatl Red Cross/ Red Crescent Org are reporting that ambulances have been targeted by munitions, despite being clearly marked w/ the giant red cross. Read these lovely Israeli "censorship" guidelines that were just issued which ban reporting of the "use of unique kinds of ammunition and weaponry" in Lebanon. My words from my July 22nd post are haunting me as I write this: "And I have a theory on why the west is really scrambling to get their citizen's out of Lebanon: It is in part b/c they don't want a PR nightmare on their hands about turning their backs on their citizens in crisis, but I think the real reason is this: They don't want western eye-witnesses to relay to us & the media in their native countries what is really going on in Lebanon." So many tried to ignore the reports from Iraq about the US using WP on civilians, until the military admitted it. Let's not ignore these reports coming out of Lebanon... despite what these Israeli rabbis said in '04: "Leading rabbis, among them heads of hesder yeshivot and members of the Yesha Rabbis Council, issued a proclamation stating that Israel's security needs override the welfare of Arab civilians living in the terror-infested areas and that Jewish Law provides that during war time, there is no difference between the populace and the army. If a danger arises to Israeli soldiers or to civilians, Jewish ethics teach that our lives take precedence over others." Well rabbis, there is self defense and then there is collective punishment, and then there are war crimes. Given the unspeakable horrors the Jewish people experienced and endured in WWII (just to name only 1 of the times your people have been persecuted) I would think that you would be experts in distinguishing between them.
Now in full disclosure, I actually have a great deal of respect for real whores. They actually work for a living... unlike our politicians. But this inexplicable Dem-whoring for Joe-Judas by Bill Clinton can only be explained by this: It has "Hillary in 08's" paws all over it, but Stephen Colbert (via You Tube) raises a good question for us Dems: "Since incumbent Senators are re-elected nearly 80% of the time, and are almost never challenged in the primaries, CT Dems should have thought about that way back in 1988 when they elected Joe in the 1st place. They don't now get to say "oops, we made a mistake" 18 yrs later." And Sen Barbara Boxer (whom I usually have high regard for... well... except for that yes vote on The Rape of the Middle Class Bill aka The Bankruptcy Reform bill... but I digress) well, her actions are truly mystifying. Check out the You Tube (via Firedoglake) of Boxer bobbing, weaving & outright lying for old Bush kissing Joe-Judas on his despicable quote about rape victims being denied emergency contraceptives. His actual quote comes from the New Haven Register, and if they somehow misquoted Joe-Judas, then they should damn well retract the quote... but something tells me this selfish prick really did say it: "Lieberman said he believes hospitals that refuse to give contraceptives to rape victims for "principled reasons" shouldn’t be forced to do so. "In Connecticut, it shouldn’t take more than a short ride to get to another hospital," he said." Yeh Joe-Judas, b/c after just enduring the horrifying ordeal of a sexual assault, what's a short trip to another hospital, eh? Maybe old Joe-Judas can be a real sport and let the rape victims hop on this gurney and he'll personally give 'em a lift to that next hospital, huh?
What's that rustling noise I hear? Oh yeah... its just that paper tiger Arlen Specter acting like he really cares about our beloved Constitution that he swore to uphold. He'll back down like he always does b/c he's always such a good lil GOP lap dog.
Sen Russ Feingold lays out plan for Universal Healthcare in US. Man oh man... this guy has been proving to me for over a yr now that he so deserves to be our Dem candidate for Prez.
This post was written in reference to a particularly idiotic comment that was left by a blogger from SC called Tired of it All about my July 22nd post called "When children are bombed in the name of freedom, who really is freed?" There are so maaany things I could say about the comments left by this person (besides the abhorrent spelling errors) but stupidity like this really gets me: "As far as the comments about Bush get over it the Liberals lost the election, Bush is President and because he has Moral vaules unlike Your Former President and is doing something that Clinton should have done while in office. Do you recall the 26 billion dollars worth of Cruise Miss. that Clinton sent to Afghanastan to divert attention from his sex scandal? If Clinton would have taken Bin laden seriously back in the 1990's we wouldn't be in this debate today." Now, I know your head is spinning from that unbelievably moronic spew, but my post was about the horrifying situation in Lebanon. That means we are discussing Hezbollah and their leader, Sec Gen Hasan Nasrallah. Q: WTF does this have to w/ bin Laden and al Qaida? A: Absolutely nothing... unless you are a moron. Hezbollah is NOT in cahoots w/al Qaida. Hezbollah came about b/c enraged ShiitePalestinians (who fled from Israel & sought refuge in Lebanon) formed the resistance group to fight Israel & the civilian political party as part of the Shia Revolution inside Lebanon at the behest of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini. But Hezbollah also provides hospitals, schools, clinics, and rebuilding projects to the Lebanese people, especially the poor. When was the last time you heard of Osama helping people? Bin Laden is NOT a Shiite Muslim, and al-Qaida is an internatl fundamentalist Sunni Muslim paramilitary organization comprised of independent & collaborative cells that all profess the same agenda of reducing outside influence on Islamic affairs (esp US influence but al Qaida sprung from the grassroots campaign in Afghanistan to oust Russia). Al Qaida is a rag-tag group of actual members and uneducated wanna-be's who love Wahabism (a fundie brand of Islam that has a stranglehold on Saudi Arabia and supplies the 'Koranic legitimacy' to al-Qaida kinda like how our US Christian Dominionists use the Bible) and who want to become martyrs. Besides all of these differences, Nasrallah has NO love for bin Laden, and he (unlike bin Laden) doesn't hate America and/or want to wipe us out (although since we've supplied the bombs to Israel that are killing 100s of innocent Lebanese civilians, that could change). In plain terms: Al Qaida is nothing but terrorism. Hezbollah can disarm and reshape itself in a manner similar to the disarming of the IRA and its participation in politics in N Ireland. Religious/ cultural stupidity was clearly displayed by Tired's beloved empty-headed Emperor Bush, too: "As late as 2 months before invading Iraq, Bush didn't even know that there was a difference between the 2 sects or any hostility existed between Shiia and Sunni." Now why would Bush bother engaging in a fact finding expedition before invading and occupying a foreign land? Could none of his minions do the legwork for him? Oh that's right... he would have had to know to ask the question. Christ on a cracker, no wonder Tired has a lovefest for Bush: They share the same impaired intellect and low IQs. Before you open your know-nothing mouth, try opening a book, ya jackass.
Ceasefire NOW in Lebanon
Google "Oslo Accords" and pictures of a 1993 Prez Clinton outstretching his arms to then Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin and then not-yet Palestinian Prez Yassar Arafat who agreed to an unprecadented peace agreement will pop up. This article by Jerusalem-based writer Ziv Hellman explains why the Accords ultimately failed: "The success of the Oslo process was predicated on a beneficial spiral of confidence-building measures that would bring Israelis & Palestinians ever closer to trusting in the possibility of peaceful co-existence. In light of these facts, it might be said in hindsight that Oslo ultimately failed b/c while its fashioners set in motion a process that could potentially lead to trust and confidence, they did not establish mechanisms for monitoring violations or ensuring that claims of violations could be arbitrated and corrections could be guaranteed. W/o such safeguards, the dynamic of the Oslo process fell prey to longstanding sentiments of mistrust and anger between Palestinians & Israelis." Wow. Some presidents (even in their itty-bitty 1st term) call upon diplomacy instead of war mongering. Some presidents use diplomacy to bring 2 mortal enemies together and get them to talk face to face instead of the unheard of ghastly move of tossing a ceasefire into the trash while encouraging the bombing of innocent families and the utter destruction of an entire sovereign nation that did NOT kidnap 2 or kill 8 soldiers. And some presidents realize that their position as leader of the world's largest superpower comes w/ a set of responsibilities and obligations, some of which supercede their own agendas. Yes. He was NOT perfect, but admit it: Ya long for the day when the worst that could be said of your prez was that he liked the ladies. This diary by Thursday Next (a progressive Canadian w/ a blog) succinctly sums up the current horrifying situation in Lebanon: "I can't believe that the US, formerly a force for peace in the Middle East, would condone ongoing hostilities. What set me off is an article by a reporter in Beirut. Hanady posts pix of charred victims of Israeli weapons and asks if we can identify the type of weapons used, because the corpses look "weird." I don't know what weapons were used but maybe it's white phosphorus, an illegal weapon that produced many charred corpses in Iraq? Lebanese deaths outnumber Israeli deaths 10 to 1. Why is that? Why are so many civilians, including many children, dying in Lebanon? Israel says that Hezbollah plants its weapons in residential neighborhoods, that it is Hezbollah's fault that civilians are being killed. But why would Israel bomb Lebanon's pharmaceutical factories, grain silos & water processing plants? Why would they attack the mosques, hospitals and a Greek Orthodox Church? Why would they flatten Lebanon's largest milk factory? Is Hezbollah in the dairy business? This article actually goes on to recommend that Lebanon arm itself. "Lebanon needs a credible deterrent to Israeli aggression. It cannot simply reemerge Phoenix-like every decade or so following another rampage by the Mongol hordes from the south." (See what happens when you attack people who posed no direct harm? They suddenly feel the need to stockpile arms or to fight back via an insurgency... just ask the Iraqis.) The word is that the Arab world is pushing Syria to stop supporting Hezbollah (but given that Syria is opening their homes to fleeing Lebanese who have no where else to go, ya have to wonder if they will regard Syria as their heroes) and that the Saudis are now demanding that BushCo push for a ceasefire. Given the close and personal relationship 'ol W has w/the House of Saud, maybe this is just the pressure needed. And given that as late as 2 months before invading Iraq, Bush didn't even know there was a difference between or any hostility between Shiia and Sunni, maybe Bush needs to check out this FAQ by CSM about the conflict between Israel & Hezbollah. As screw it... Lou Dobbs said it best: We're just stupid when it comes to the Middle East.
Well, well... look for this opposition MP to end up butt naked in a hotel room w/a dead lil girl and a live lil boy: "Opposition MP Norman Baker has alleged that govt scientist, David Kelly, who cast doubt on intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, may not have taken his own life."
According to The Boston Globe: "Pakistan is building a reactor that could produce enough plutonium for 40 to 50 nuclear weapons per yr in what would be a major expansion of its nuclear program and an intensified arms race in South Asia." Hmm... so BushCo will come out and condemn this latest nuke move WHEN exactly?? Who knows? Maybe Pakistan just suddenly felt this inexplicable urge to build up nukes to protect her sovereign nation from attack and/or invasion? Ya know... one never knows when the BushCo regime will get pissed and target you for some PNAC reshaping.
Condi: "Bombs in Lebanon are like birth pangs"
Now I always knew this woman was soul-less, b/c anyone with eyes that dead and devoid of all compassion and who willingly chose to become a Republican and Bush's own token female and minority HAD to have sold her soul, but I never realized how utterly clueless and morally depraved Condi was until I read this quote: "Speaking on Saturday after meeting with members of a United Nations team that had just returned from the region, Condoleezza Rice described the plight of Lebanon as a part of the "birth pangs of a new Middle East" and said that Israel should ignore calls for a ceasefire." Now as a woman who actually endured the pangs of birth (unlike the never married/ never given birth Condi) I can say unequivocally that the bombs that are destroying the lives of 100s of Lebanese, destroying billions of dollars of buildings, belongings, and infrastructure, and possibily causing WWIII are NOT in any way, shape, or form like the pangs of birth. Yes, childbirth is incredibly difficult. Yes, childbirth is very hard work. Yes, childbirth is absolutely exhausting. But while it was the most physically exhausting 28hrs of my life, in the end, I knew that all of my hard work was as Nature intended and would result in 2 wonderful things: LIFE and LOVE. The bombs that are falling on Lebanon only bring death. The bombs that are falling on Lebanon only bring destruction. The bombs that are falling on Lebanon are NOT natural. The bombs that are falling on Lebanon may bring forth life in 1 way... they will probably bring life to the anti-Israeli/ anti-American movement with a venom previously unseen. So Condi, stop sickening us with those moronically insulting comparisons. Please do not compare a beautiful, natural, and truly pro-life experience to that which only encapsulates ugliness, hatred, and depraved indifference to all forms of life.
When children are bombed in the name of freedom, who really is freed?
The pt of this post is not to debate who is right/ who is wrong. Both sides are wrong, but when we (we = US & Israel-- and the NYTs says that the US is rushing precision-guided bombs to Israel as we speak) claim that we are bombing terrorists in the name of freedom, who wins when we are killing 100s of children? Any of the surviving family members will hate us with a white hot vengeance, will want the blood of the enemy for their loved ones' blood, will embrace Hezbollah, Hamas, or al Qaida to seek that vengeance, and the nation's survivors will tell the tales of how the other guy is so evil that they bomb children on purpose. See the impossibility of ever winning hearts and minds that way? And I know that, tragically, many Israeli children have been killed too, but this from the NYTimes is truly gut wrenching b/c you have to wonder how many of these disproportionately dead people are simply Lebanese citizens who have no connection to/ no support for Hezbollah: "In the city of Tyre, Lebanon, carpenters are running out of wood for coffins. Bodies are stacked 3 or 4 high in a truck at the local hospital morgue. The stench is spreading in the rubble. Just a few miles from the Rest House hotel, where the UN was evacuating civilians on Thurs, wild dogs gnawed at the charred remains of a family bombed as they were trying to escape the village. Officials at the Tyre Govt Hospital inside a local Palestinian refugee camp said they counted the bodies of 50 children among the 115 in the refrigerated truck in the morgue." The Guardian UK reports: 86 of the 150 corpses in the truck were to be buried in the afternoon. Watching the burial was Qasim Shaala, the chief medic at Tyre's Red Cross offices. "Most of the casualties are women and children," he said. "They [Israel] are not letting us save them. Ambulances aren't allowed into areas after they are shelled." If true, that is beyond despicable. It is criminal. And it appears that this plan (that is unfolding now in Lebanon) has been in place by Israel since they w/drew from Lebanon in 2000 and it is now coming to fruition. Shockingly, more than a yr ago, a sr Israeli army officer began giving PowerPoint presentations, on an off the record basis, to the US, diplomats, journalists & think tanks, setting out the plan for the current operation in revealing detail. As Israel prepares for ground forces to move in, ya know how useless Condi Rice and all US officials keep saying they'll give Israel a few wks to take care of this before we even consider stepping in? Well, that's b/c they've all seen the Israeli 3 Wk Plan: In his PowerPt presentations, the officer described a 3 wk campaign: 1st wk concentrated on destroying Hezbollah's heavier long-range missiles, bombing its command & control centers, and disrupting transportation & communication arteries. In the 2nd wk, the focus shifted to attacks on individual sites of rocket launchers or weapons stores. In the 3rd wk, ground forces in large numbers would be introduced, but only in order to knock out targets discovered during reconnaissance missions as the campaign unfolded. There was no plan, according to this scenario, to reoccupy southern Lebanon on a long-term basis." Well, that is awfully generous of them, no? Why don't they ask the loved ones of these dead Lebanese and Palestinians in this video if they truly feel liberated from Hamas and Hezbollah? (very graphic). I'm sure the loved ones of dead Iraqis would give a very similar answer. Oh never fear dear fellow Americans: Just turn that doubting frown upside down b/c UPI reports that al-Qaida has regrouped in the region & they are badder than ever (so much for that crapola about the war on terrorism working, huh?) and b/c Reuters reveals: Israel's campaign to destroy Hezbollah is a foreign policy windfall for the Bush admin, which hopes it will boost the war on terrorism and heap pressure on its nemesis Iran, and launch that so longed for war. At least usually crazy Pat Buchanan has the balls to call the Neo-Con/ PNAC plan to launch a million wars batshit crazy... b/c it is batshit crazy war mongering. And I have a theory on why the west is really scrambling to get their citizen's out of Lebanon: It is in part b/c they don't want a PR nightmare on their hands about turning their backs on their citizens in crisis, but I think the real reason is this: They do want western eye-witnesses to relay to us & the media in their native countries what is really going on in Lebanon.
Sweet Mother of God... as if the above post wasn't horrifying enough, we learn this from ABCNews: "Four US soldiers accused of murdering suspected insurgents during a raid in Iraq said they were under orders to "kill all military age males," according to sworn statements obtained by The Associated Press." Always winning the hearts and minds.... sigh...
Bush: We GOPers really like black folks
I'd have given my eye-teeth to see THIS woman pop up at the despicable Bush appearance at the NAACP annual meeting. Like this pix, Think Progress says it so beautifully, that I cannot add a thing, so here it is in full: "Bush addressed the NAACP today for the 1st time in his presidency. Speaking on behalf of his friend, multi-millionaire conservative BET founder Bob Johnson, Bush used the opportunity to promote the repeal of the estate tax on the ultra-rich: "One of my friends is Bob Johnson, founder of BET. (Nice touch fuckwad: "Look I’m not a racist... I have a black friend.") Bob’s an interesting man. He believes strongly in ownership. He has been a successful owner. He believes strongly, for example, that the death tax will prevent future African-American entrepreneurs from being able to pass their assets from one generation to the next. He and I also understand that the investor class shouldn’t be just confined to the old definition of the investor class." Bush’s “death tax” pitch demonstrates his stunning disconnect from the African-American community. According to an American Progress analysis, just 59 African-Americans will pay the estate tax this year, and that number will drop to 33 in 2009. Meanwhile, as of 2004, 24.7 percent of African-Americans lived under the poverty line (up from 22.7 in 2001) — that’s more than 9 million people. The number of times Bush mentioned “poverty” in his speech: ZERO. I find it interesting that Bush once again dragged Condi to a black- audience appearance. (via Karena): "He also did so in January of 2005 when he addressed the Congressional Black Caucus for the 1st time in 4 yrs. He dragged Condi Rice along w/him to the meeting, his apparent token to how much he loves black people. At the end of the meeting he was asked if he would renew the 1965 Voting Rights Act, portions which would expire in 2007 if not renewed. Bush's stunning response was "I'm unfamiliar with the Voting Rights Act, but if legislation comes before me, I will take a look at it." I wonder how many of those in the NAACP audience were familiar w/that Bush quote as he told his "heartwarming" tale about poor Condi's dad who fought to have the right to vote? Probably not many. If so, they would have held up a sign just like the one that woman is holding up. Actually, I would have thought that black Congressman Al Green would have shoved a sign like that up Bush's socially retarded ass after Bush "playfully" slapped him across the face.
Now, I've posted about this 2 times (yesterday, and in June) b/c it screams to be heard due to the massive bloody implications if this happens, and now this horrific news comes from Thursday's The NY Sun: " Turkey said that Israel's action in Lebanon to stop Hezbollah attacks meant it should be allowed to take similar steps against Kurdish guerrillas operating from northern Iraq against its forces. (15 Turkish soldiers, police, and security guards have been killed in the southeast of the country in the last wk in clashes with fighters from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Despite strong opposition from America, Turkey's military is now drawing up plans for either an air or ground assault. "Whatever step needs to be taken will be taken," the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said. Israel's attacks in Lebanon have led to new demands by the Turkish govt that it be allowed to follow suit if American and Iraqi forces do not act quickly against the Kurdish guerrillas, who are believed to be based in northern Iraq's rugged Qandil mountains. The intervention plans are reported to range from limited artillery barrage and airstrikes to attacks by commando forces." And WTF will our Empty-Headed Emperor do if Turkey invades Iraq? Since Turkey is a long-standing ally, will we side w/them? Or since the independent Kurds are simply living peacefully away from most of the chaos in Iraq and "give" our forces little grief, do we side w/them? And how will we explain to the Kurds that we are allowing Turkey to attack them? Will we say that it just a late "liberation" present? Will any fellow Iraqis join up to defend the Kurds? What unbelievable position will that put our troops in? And does Iraq (and the entire "teetering on the edge of collapse" Middle East for that matter) really need-- let alone deserve-- any more invasion, occupation, destruction, and bloodshed??
News like this is exactly why theocrat pharmacists should have more important things to do besides poke their unwanted nose in MY privates (via NYTs): " Medication errors harm 1.5 million people and kill several 1000 each yr in the US, costing the nation at least $3.5 billion annually, the Institute of Medicine concluded in a report released on Thurs.
If you recall the "Breastfeed or Else" threat... err... directive we females have been given by our Health Gestapos, ya have to wonder about this from The Daily Mail UK: "100s of babies may be suffering from dehydration each wk b/c their mothers are too scared to bottle-feed them, doctors have warned. They say the 'breast is best' message has left some women reluctant to use formula even as a back-up when their babies are not feeding properly. Pediatrician Dr Ganesan Supramaniam said many hospitals treat a baby a wk for dehydration. This could mean that each wk up to 250 babies are admitted to the hospital. "It is a major problem and it is increasing. Breastfeeding is best but it is dangerous to say, 'Don't use formula at any stage'." The problem usually sets in w/in the first few days of the baby's life, w/ new moms not realizing that their baby isn't feeding properly. Unfed or underfed, the baby will eventually cry itself to sleep. When it wakes up for its next feed, it will have less energy and so will not cry for so long. After 3 or 4 failed feeds, the baby will be so tired and dehydrated it will sleep thru its feeding time - and the mother will mistake its hunger for contentment. Dr Supramaniam, who worked in the NHS for 35 yrs, said "Dehydration can cause renal failure and severe jaundice can lead to brain damage. What is not helpful is this militant attitude of breastfeeding or nothing." Now, the news that this many babies are dehydrated comes from a nation that has universal healthcare. When the US has 46 million uninsured folks, how many of those can or will take their baby to the hospital for dehydration before it is too late?
Bush wants born people to suffer b/c blastocysts must be tossed in trash instead
While more than a dozen experts rip Karl Rove over his completely false and inaccurate statement that there is "far more promise from adult stem cells than from embryonic stem cells," our cowardly prez does what all cowards do: Hides behind babies... well... that would be Snowflake Babies to be completely accurate, b/c they simply couldn’t find any beloved blastocysts that could stand behind him as he signed it... although 1 Snowflake toddler did flip Bush off. (via Think Progress): "Bush vetoed his 1st piece of legislation – a stem cell research bill that “could lead to treatments that save millions of lives and improve the quality-of-life for millions more.” Apparently, he’s not too proud of it. At the WH press conference, Tony Snow announced that no press would be allowed at the signing: SnowJob: There will be no photographers, no ceremony. Q: Is there a reason why he’s not having photographers in, at least?SnowJob: B/c he doesn’t feel it’s appropriate. He’s signing a veto." Hmm... yet that didn't stop him from surrounding himself w/an entire room full of Snowflake Babies, now did it, while curiously, his "base" of wingnut Sex/Ovary/ Vagina Police were nowhere to be found? I guess they were too busy whipping up the foaming fundie masses over the rejected gay marriage bill? Or were they too occupied w/ trying to come up w/an explanation as to why there are no black Snowflake Babies?
I wonder how many Repuke parents will be happy to learn that their anti-war college student kids are being put into a Homeland Security terrorist database b/c they dared to protest for peace? Oh who the hell knows... those Repuke parents will probably just gobble down this fearmongering and ask for another heaping helping as the ACLU uncovers that the Administration has probably been spying on 3 additional financial service systems: Bolero: The Bill of Lading Electronic Registry Organization, CHIPS: The Clearing House Interbank Payment System, Fedwire: A wire transfer service run by the Federal Reserve.
Now I mentioned a nightmarish scenario a few wks ago when I posted about the very public rumblings by Iraqi Kurds that they were contemplating seceding from Iraq. But this news from Forbes about Turkey is a nightmare scenario times 10: "Turkish officials signaled Tues they are prepared to send the army into N. Iraq if US/ Iraqi forces do not take steps to combat Kurdish guerrillas there - a move that could put Turkey on a collision course w/ the US. Turkey is facing increasing domestic pressure to act after 15 soldiers, police and guards were killed fighting the guerrillas in S.E. Turkey in the past wk." There are so many OMFG things I could say about this, but John at Americablog sums it up best: "This is one of the nightmare scenarios that Bush was warned about, and that he ignored, when he decided to trick the American people into supporting the Iraq war. If Turkey forces us to revise our entire Iraq strategy and redeploy forces to the north to quell whatever Kurdish uprising is taking place, that will de facto hurt whatever efforts we are currently making in the rest of Iraq to quell the situation there. It's not like we have men to spare in the rest of the country. So, we either need EVEN MORE troops in Iraq now, or Bush's screw-up w/ Turkey is going to put our forces, and security, at risk everywhere else in Iraq. How many different ways can we pay a price for George Bush's incompetence? And the Republicans want the fall congressional elections to be a referendum on the Iraq war? Make my day." Make my day indeed... except the price for this game of poker will be buckets of US & Iraqi blood and there will have to be a draft.
Speaking of a draft... and this frightening Rolling Stone article from last yr suggests that the Pentagon has been gearing to kick the draft up, including the draft of women... didja know that illegal immigrants are elligible to be drafted? Yep, they can't stay here, but if cannon fodder is needed, suddenly they are "legal enough" (via The Selective Service site): Q: Are illegal alien males required to register? A: Yes. All immigrant alien males, other than those admitted on nonimmigrant visas, must register, whether or not they have a green card.(See also Who Must Register - Chart.)" Isn't it odd that Tom Tancredo & his ilk say that they don't want illegal immigrants to get hired but (like all good lil GOPers) they do nothing to prevent corporations & employers from hiring 1000s of illegals, and that Tancredo & his ilk say that they don't want our govt to extend any fedrl programs to illegal immigrants but the very fedrl program called The Selective Service certainly DOES includes illegals? Now I am all for limits on the number of immigrants in this nation b/c we are a nation of finite resources/ jobs, & US sovereignty demands that we control all ports/ borders, but I guess the illegal immigrants are good enough when it comes to dying for the US but simply aren't good enough when it comes to living here, huh?
Bush personally blocked Justice Dept lawyers from probe into NSA Spying
Sweet Jesus... why doesn't Bush just go ahead and anoint himself King and get it over with? (via NYTs): "Att Genrl Alberto Gonzales testified Tues that Pres Bush personally blocked Justice Dept lawyers from pursuing an internal probe of the warrantless eavesdropping program that monitors Americans' internatl calls and e-mails w/o court approval." Murray Waas says: "The statement by Gonzales stunned some senior Justice Dept officials, who were led to believe that Gonzales himself had made the decision to deny the clearances after consulting w/ intelligence agencies whose activities would be scrutinized." They were stunned? I am stunned that Abu Ghraib Gonzales ratted his master out-- NOT that his master committed the evil deed. Josh at TPM sums it up best: "In effect, this means that the Pres himself (not the Vice Pres, not David Addington, not sr advisers) believes he has the right to insulate any program he chooses from any type of review, from congressional oversight to an arcane internal audit." That statement is absolutely true, but never fear sheeple of America: The diabolical minions of the Evil Boss are still more than ready and willing to do the evil bidding of their master at the snap of a sacrificial child's limb. Let's face it: It is the least they can do for their King.
This news from Gaza is NOT good, and holy f-ing shit!.. this is sooo NOT good. Here's my questions: 1) Israel bombed a Lebanese military barracks and killed Lebanese soldiers. WTF? They are not Hezbollah. They're the Lebanese military. If Israel can launch a war over the kidnapping/ killing of their soldiers, doesn't Lebanon have every right now to counter- launch war against Israel? 2) If the IDF+ US military support can't defeat Hezbollah, how can the tiny, weak Lebanese army do it? If BushCo & Israel seriously expect Lebanon to pull that off, they are advocating Lebanese civil war. Then again.. I guess they (and I am referring to the PNAC here) are happy that US policy has already created 1 civil war, in Iraq, no? Oh that's right... this attack has been planned for months, targeted for summer/fall since Syria & Iran are the big door prizes on the PNAC hitlist... just in time for Nov 06 elections. At least some brave souls & cool heads see what destruction is coming down the pike for Israel and her citizens: "Anyone who is listening to talk about the need to attack Syria (in the name of "strategy") realizes that for those people, "strategy" means enlarging the circle of hostilities, including harming civilians. What Israel's "strategists" have to offer is the destruction of yet another country. Let us set aside the horrors that are being carried out in the name of all of us. It is enough to see the destruction of Iraq and its results. The Americans do not intend to live in this region, but we do live here." Amen. Cooler heads and brave souls need to prevail. Not insanity & bloodlust.