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Fading Into Mist...

July 19th, 2009

Sheila Samples

If you keep on excusing, you eventually give your blessing to the slave camp, to cowardly force, to organized executioners, to the cynicism of great political monsters; you finally hand over your brothers~~Albert Camus

There is no subject more restricted nor more controlled in the United States than a critical discussion of Israel. Balanced argument is ignored while each word is parsed -- and condemned. It's strange that we are free to rant and rave and point out the war crimes of our own administration -- of all other administrations throughout the world -- but not those of Israel. The few who dare to question the damage Israel has wrought throughout the Middle East for decades are immediately labeled "anti-Semitic," and are in danger of losing their friends, jobs, their reputations and, if they persist, their country -- for America has zero tolerance for those who recognize Israel's brutality.

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U.S. Silent on “LOST CAUSE”

July 19th, 2009

Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett

A lead question Americans should be asking but aren’t and two sets of responses worth considering¯On Afghanistan.

“This is a terrible situation we’ve got into. We lost three wars in the nineteenth century there. It’s very difficult to fight people without civilian casualties but if you are foreigners the civilian casualties are held very, very strongly against you. There’s very little changing. … I think we ought to be thinking about an exit strategy” [Lamont].

“An enormous international effort” will be needed to devise an exit strategy which leaves a legacy worth having” [Lambert].

“We ought to be thinking now¯ not about wasting lives in a pointless war — but how we can bring an end to this and get out” [Lamont].

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Latin America: Energy Workers in Time of Crisis

July 19th, 2009

James Petras

The situation of the energy sector in Latin America is determined by both internal and external correlations of political forces, the level of class organization and power within the ruling and the working classes, the condition of the world economy and the strength and weakness of US imperialism. The ‘situation of the energy sector’ refers to several variants in terms of ownership, weight in the economy and distribution of oil revenues within the class structure.

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To all the Sharp Dressed Soldiers Shipping Out

July 19th, 2009

eileen fleming

[Florida, July 18, 2009] Last Wednesday, I flew to Atlanta to meet up with an old friend from my misspent youth who became a lifetime member of the ZZ Top fan club in 1983. Ever since, she has received two free tickets when ever they tour. They opened for Aerosmith who will remain forever young on Youtube: Aerosmith - Train Kept A Rollin'

The next morning I awoke fully conscious that it was the first Thursday of a weekly global call to fast for Gaza http://www.fastforgaza.net/statement during daylight hours so that the hearts and minds of the leaders of the world would open up to the human misery in Gaza Palestine and be moved to end the siege and occupation. Three hours and three cups of coffee later, I boarded the hotel elevator for the last time.

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Are Israeli courts staffed by Nazi judges?

July 19th, 2009

By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

Just as anti-Semitism became official policy in Germany in the mid 1930s, it seems hostility toward Arabs, especially Israel’s own 1.5 million Palestinian citizens, is becoming a de facto official policy of the Israeli state.

This ominous orientation is being constantly promoted by a number of manifestly racist cabinet ministers and Knesset members who declare openly that their aim is to make everyone in Israel “submit to the Jewish nature of the state.”

The brash racism is now permeating through the entire apparatus of the Jewish state, from the police, to the justice system, to the army, to the educational system and, of course, the media.

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Muzzling press freedom in Palestine

July 19th, 2009

By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

The recent decision by the Ramallah-based regime to close down the al-Jazeera offices in the West Bank illustrates the vulnerability and utter stupidity of the American-backed and Israeli-tolerated junta.

The decision came a day after Fatah Secretary-General Farouk Kaddoumi appeared on al-Jazeera, accusing Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas and his aide, former Gaza strong man Muhammed Dahlan, of complicity in poisoning the late Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat.

Justifying the decision, PA officials accused al Jazeera of bias, incitement and fostering division within the Palestinian community.

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Senate Hate Crimes Bill Threatens First Amendment

July 18th, 2009

EmptyWheel

There are inherent First Amendment and equal protection issues with any "hate crime" legislation as I pointed out when Eric Holder started aggressively pushing Congress for passage of a new bill. That said, if you are going to enact such laws, they must be targeted, rational and designed to effect the result desired and not any other. Such laws should not be vague and expansive, should not be able to be wielded by prosecutors as selective bludgeons and should not infringe on First Amendment rights to free speech and association.

Late Thursday night, the Senate passed a Hate Crimes Bill that arguably violates all of the above.

People attacked because of their sexual orientation or gender would receive federal protections under a Senate-approved measure that significantly expands the reach of hate crimes law.

The Senate bill also would make it easier for federal prosecutors to step in when state or local authorities are unable or unwilling to pursue hate crimes.

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Undercover among America's secret theocrats: Jesus plus nothing

July 18th, 2009

Jeff Sharlet

And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. ~Matthew 10:36

This is how they pray: a dozen clear-eyed, smooth-skinned “brothers” gathered together in a huddle, arms crossing arms over shoulders like the weave of a cable, leaning in on one another and swaying like the long grass up the hill from the house they share. The house is a handsome, gray, two-story colonial that smells of new carpet and Pine-Sol and aftershave; the men who live there call it Ivanwald. At the end of a tree-lined cul-de-sac, quiet but for the buzz of lawn mowers and kids playing foxes-and-hounds in the park across the road, Ivanwald sits as one house among many, clustered together like mushrooms, all devoted, like these men, to the service of Jesus Christ. The men tend every tulip in the cul-de-sac, trim every magnolia, seal every driveway smooth and black as boot leather. And they pray, assembled at the dining table or on their lawn or in the hallway or in the bunk room or on the basketball court, each man's head bowed in humility and swollen with pride (secretly, he thinks) at being counted among such a fine corps for Christ, among men to whom he will open his heart and whom he will remember when he returns to the world not born-again but remade, no longer an individual but part of the Lord's revolution, his will transformed into a weapon for what the young men call “spiritual war.”

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The Murder of Faith

July 18th, 2009

Mantiq al-Tayr

1. Iman is a great Arabic word to ponder. It means “Faith” and faith is what so much of life if all about.

Faith is also a girl’s name in Arabic, just like it is in English.

I remember well back in 1994 when Iman (Faith) al-Hams was brutally murdered by the Israeli military. It was a horrible event and the Israeli response was just so awful that it deserves to be resurrected.

Below is a comment posted to the Mantiq al-Tayr site today in response to Obama’s meeting with the Jewish Lobby. The comment references in considerable detail the murder of Iman al-Hams and we here at Mantiq al-Tayr believe that the comment, posted by “Freeman”, is a fitting tribute to her memory and to the memory of all the Palestinian children murdered by Israel. It is not milk for babes, so please make sure you have a tissue handy. Here is a photograph of Faith, the 15 year old girl murdered by an Israeli soldier. The Israeli soldier who murdered her was promoted. May God have mercy on her soul.

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LIVING RICH AND CRYING POOR

July 18th, 2009

by Mary Pitt

As a member of the "Depression Generation". I have loved my country as one loves a husband; for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. Now there are those who tell us that our nation is as severely ill as it was at that time.

I recall, one summer evening, following my father outside as he searched the scorching sky for signs of a rain cloud. "What happened to all the rain, Daddy?". I asked this man who presisted in stirring the dusty soil, planting seeds, and praying for a crop. I shall never forget his reply:

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