Monthly Archives: May 2010

3 Facts You Need to Know About the Israeli Attack on Peace Activists on the Gaza Flotilla

Our main media organizations have willingly allowed Israeli spokespeople to fill the airwaves with misinformation. Let’s reiterate a few simple facts.

Jonathan Cook, Counterpunch, at Alternet, May 31, 2010

It is quite astounding that Israel has been able to create over the past 12 hours a news blackout, just as it did with its attack on Gaza 18 months ago, into which our main media organisations have willingly allowed Israeli spokespeople to step in unchallenged.

How many civilians were killed in Israel’s dawn attack on the Gaza-bound flotilla of aid? We still don’t know. How many wounded? Your guess is as good as mine. Were the aid activists armed with guns? Yes, says Israel. Were they in cahoots with al-Qaeda and Hamas? Certainly, says Israel. Did the soldiers act reasonably? Of course, they faced a lynch, says Israel.

If we needed any evidence of the degree to which Western TV journalists are simply stenographers to power, the BBC, CNN and others are amply proving it. Mark Regev, Israel’s propagandist-in-chief, has the airwaves largely to himself.

The passengers on the ships, meanwhile, have been kidnapped by Israel and are unable to provide an alternative version of events. We can guess they will remain in enforced silence until Israel is sure it has set the news agenda.

So before we get swamped by Israeli hasbara let’s reiterate a few simple facts:

* Israeli soldiers invaded these ships in international waters, breaking international law, and, in killing civilians, committed a war crime. Continue reading

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Filed under Palestine & Israel

Retrospective: Joe Sestak on Iraq, Oct. 2006

From Joe Sestak’s web site as a candidate for Congress (PA-07) in October 2006:

“…I firmly believe in a planned end to our military engagement in Iraq within the next year as the primary catalyst for change in Iraq. This timeline should only be extended if our military experts deem that a few more months are necessary in order to safely execute a complete withdrawal. I understand the Vietnam-like arguments that military disengagement may mean dominoes will fall, resulting in more regional strife and the further waning of U.S. credibility and power. But I counter those assertions with the real likelihood of a prolonged occupation with rising death, injury and cost for an unknown number of years. It will be an occupation that will continue to have goals that are ever changing as they remain elusive. The result will be continued loss of U.S. military and diplomatic international credibility….”

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Filed under Iraq, US House PA-07, US Senate

The War Prayer, by Mark Twain

O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it.

For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, strain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

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Filed under Peace, Security, Terrorism, War, Religions, Satire

Obama Dresses Down the Military, but What's Changed?

Truthout, Sunday 16 May 2010
by: William J. Astore

According to NBC News and journalist Jonathan Alter in his book “The Promise,” President Barack Obama “dressed down” senior generals at the Pentagon for attempting in 2009 to “box him in” on troop levels in Afghanistan. The “exceedingly unhappy” president was in a “cold fury” at his generals for “speaking out of turn” before last year’s speech at West Point. Alter even suggests that American generals hadn’t been on the receiving end of such a serious tongue-lashing since President Harry S Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War.

Is Obama the reincarnation of Harry “the buck stops here” Truman? Has he brought rebellious generals to heel? Evidence suggests otherwise. First, under Obama the U.S. military has gotten everything they could’ve possibly wanted, and more: rising defense budgets, more soldiers and Marines added to the ranks, and virtually uncontested control over American foreign policy in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. All major weapon system acquisition programs are “full speed ahead,” the exception in this case — the F-22 Raptor — being a manifestation of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ determined opposition to the program, stemming in part from the Air Force’s truculent and tone-deaf demands for ultra-expensive air superiority fighters that are unneeded in America’s current war zones.

Second, no general of the power and popularity of MacArthur has been fired. …

keep reading at Truthout

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Filed under Peace, Security, Terrorism, War, US President