Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 30, 2006

OT 06-70

Other news & views - open thread - ...

Posted by b on July 30, 2006 at 6:28 UTC | Permalink


Lieberman Changes Name to Love Man

By DANNY ESPOSITO, AP Special Correspondent
Sat Jul 29, 9:44 AM ET

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Anti-war Democrats bailed in droves.
Teachers unions left over vouchers. Men are drawn to his
challenger, and women aren't all that crazy about the
incumbent, either.

Once, Democratic, er, Republican, er, Populist Sen. Joe
Lieberman of Connecticut seemed on the brink of the vice
presidency, a principled moderate in a party that didn't
always warm to them. Now, hewing to his support for the
war in Iraq, and the Nation of Israel, "Fighting Joe'
confronts a political abyss, abandoned by all groups but
the poorer, older and less educated crack addict and wino
Democrats in his state.

"The last three times I voted for him, but I will never
vote for him again," Carter Contiss of West Hartford,
Conn., said recently of Lieberman, grinding her teeth
after a three-day meth binge, as she waited for primary
challenger Ned Lamont to speak at a campaign fundraiser.

"The war is the big piece," said Curtiss, 52. "I don't
think it can be minimized. All of our tax dollars are
going there. It's killing Americans. It's killing Iraqis.
It's killing Lebanese. We went there on lies."

Carol Gabenetti, a recovering alcoholic in the same
audience, said her disaffection with Lieberman began
when he wouldn't support a filibuster in the Senate
to prevent the continued sale of US arms to Israel.

The senator "supports and enables war criminals,"
she said, adding she is a lesbian who married her
crack-addict partner in a state-sanctioned ceremony.

"I would have liked Joe if he had a different last
name that didn't identify him so strongly with Israel."
said state Rep. Christ G. Dejesus, House majority
leader and the senior elected Democrat in Connecticut.

Today Lieberman has faced the music, and it isn't the
Star Spangled Banner either.

"He's getting hammered in the polls," the senator's
supporter, Arnold Schwartzkopf, survey director at
Quinnipiac College, said Lieberman polled behind every
one of the challengers among voters 65 and older, those
with incomes of over $100,000 a year, and those with
a college degree.

"Nobody wants Fighting Joe except the welfare mothers."

Fifty-one percent of the women on welfare surveyed backed
Lieberman, to 47 percent for Lamont, a statistically
insignificant difference. The numbers are the same for
welfare shelter addicts and alcoholics. One Democratic
strategist, speaking on condition of anonymity, said
internal polls showed similar results.

"I'm in a big fight here," Lieberman says routinely
these days, and he's counter-punching. "My opponent
is peddling what I would call a big lie, and that
is I'm not a real US citizen, but an Israeli spy,"
he said recently.

Struggling to prevail, he called on Jehovah to help.
"I spoke directly with Jehovah," Lieberman patiently
explains, "And he told me to change my name."

Today Joe Lieberman petitioned in New Haven District
Court to have his legal name changed to Joe Love Man.

Bill Clinton may help. The former president urged
Democrats to put their opposition to the war aside
when they vote. "Yeah, Joe Love Man is a friend of
mine. I love him and he loves you, all of you,"
Clinton said at a Connecticut rally on Monday, as
he oogled a well-built single mother of 34.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in
Washington had grown concerned, according to several
strategists, that Love Man's new name may take away
from more serious issues, like Congressional pay raises.

"We have seen an outpouring of support and volunteers
and resources in the last 10 days supporting much needed
pay raises for Senators, and we're afraid that Joe Love
Man's name change make create a circus atmosphere, for
what is a very serious economic problem in our country,"
said Sean Smith, Lover Man's campaign manager.

Senators currently make $183,750 a year, plus all expenses.
Their new pay raise increases this amount to $197.560, just
short of $200,000 a year, at a time when the US economy is
contracting, and minimum wage hasn't been raised in 20 years.

"Crack addicts and welfare mothers are hoping Joe Love Man
will spread the wealth around, and raise minimum wages,"
Pastor Roger Nesbith explained.

A drunk Native American, weaving past the reporter in the
alley, shouted, "My name's Mike StiffArm, and I'll vote
for Joe Lieberman whether he's Joe Love Man, or Joe Jitsu!

Posted by: | Jul 30 2006 7:36 utc | 1

I have the suspicion that many Israelis feel manipulated by their correligionaries in the USA, those believers that from a long distance want their textual imaginings brought to fulfillment by others.Perhaps young Israelis, al least some of them might be happy in a modern state with all classes of people free from religious and literary strictures.

Posted by: jlcg | Jul 30 2006 9:28 utc | 2

Lamont changes his name to Lieberman

By DANNY ESPOSITO, AP Special Correspondent
Sat Jul 29, 9:45 AM ET

Citing his participation in a Party line conversation with Jehovah and Joe Love Man, Ned Lamont announced that he was changing his name to Ned Lieberman. "Since the name is now available I thought it made sense to avail myself of it, to cover an area that I hadn't previously thought would show in the campaign", said Lamont. "In fact as I understand now whenever you climb a tall coconut tree that particular part of the anatomy becomes more visible." Lamont said he'd learned that from a Hartford campaign aide originally from Haiti.

It's really not funny. Clinton and Boxer backing Joe and Lamont without the moxey to stand up to the AIPAC, his only real chance of winning the race.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Jul 30 2006 9:31 utc | 3

Know anybody in Gaza?

Black Commentator's piece on Israeli Apartheid last week drew a comment from someone who does (3/4 down the long page) :

Last week's BC cover story on Israeli apartheid, running the same week as Freedom Rider's Israel's Terror drew a larger volume of email than anything we've run in a long time.

This from Ines Hanna:

What a powerful article. How refreshing to hear the truth, obvious to anyone who bothers to check the facts rather than the spin.

God bless you for your courage. By speaking firmly and loudly against this ongoing genocide, though you have earned the wrath of the Zionist Lobby, you have washed your hands of the blood of the innocent victims of the Israeli/US military machine.

My good friend told me two days ago that the Israelis smashed into her husband's home with a tank in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza, on Monday July 17. They trashed the house, using it as a base to indiscriminately shoot anyone they saw on the street. Although they threw the women and girls into the street, in the crossfire, they used her husband's two nephews, 14 and 15 years old, as human shields, so that retaliatory shots from neighborhood resistance fighters would be likely to hit the blindfolded, traumatized boys. They took some men away, including her husband's cousin and a news cameraman working for the Ramattan news agency, of which her husband, Qassem Ali, is CEO. Several people were killed, more were wounded, and even more were left homeless.

This is only part of the horrible reality lived by the besieged Palestinian and now, Lebanese populations. Israel is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, on a daily basis. The silence of the so-called 'free world' is deafening.

Thank you for doing your bit to break that silence.

The silence on Gaza and the West Bank is all the louder since the unbelievably vicious invasion and destruction of democratic Lebanon.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Jul 30 2006 13:23 utc | 4

Power">">Power Games

“By the 36th law, you start to feel unclean and worried about your own morality,” said one. “By the 44th, you have accepted the fact that you are basically immoral and so is the world. By the time you reach No. 48, you are saying: ‘Right, who is my first victim?’ “

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 30 2006 14:25 utc | 5

Frank Rich: The Peculiar Disappearance of the War in Iraq

The steady falloff in Iraq coverage isn't happenstance. It's a barometer of the scope of the tragedy. For reporters, the already apocalyptic security situation in Baghdad keeps getting worse, simply making the war more difficult to cover than ever. The audience has its own phobia: Iraq is a bummer. 'It is depressing to pay attention to this war on terror,' said Fox News's Bill O'Reilly on July 18. 'I mean, it's summertime.' Americans don't like to lose, whatever the season. They know defeat wh'n they see it, no matter how many new plans for victory are trotted out to obscure that reality.

The specter of defeat is not the only reason Americans have switched off Iraq. The larger issue is that we don't know what we - or, more specifically, 135,000 brave and vulnerable American troops - are fighting for. In contrast to the Israel-Hezbollah war, where the stakes for the combatants and American interests are clear, the war in Iraq has no rationale to keep it afloat on television or anywhere else. It's a big, nightmarish story, all right, but one that lacks the thread of a coherent plot.

Certainly there has been no shortage of retrofitted explanations for the war in the three-plus years since the administration’s initial casus belli, to fend off Saddam's mushroom clouds and vanquish Al Qaeda, proved to be frauds. We've been told that the war would promote democracy in the Arab world. And make the region safer for Israel. And secure the flow of cheap oil. If any of these justifications retained any credibility, they have been obliterated by Crisis in the Middle East. The new war is a grueling daily object lesson in just how much the American blunders in Iraq have undermined the one robust democracy that already existed in the region, Israel, while emboldening terrorists and strengthening the hand of Iran.

Posted by: b | Jul 30 2006 15:08 utc | 6

Connect the Dots

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 30 2006 15:33 utc | 7

uncle- i think a more ominous set of dots would be those etched out in u.s. hemispheric security concerns. for example,

After 9/11, the Bush administration added critics of neoliberalism to its growing list of hemispheric security concerns. "Radical populism" was increasingly considered by Southcom to be and "emerging threat" that could link up with Islamic fundamentalism, which Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Bolivia's peasant activist turned president Evo Morales were singled out as potential terrorists who took advantage of "deep-seated frustrations of the failure of democratic reforms to deliver expected goods and services." In 2005, as mobilization against the Central American Free Trade Agreement increased in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, and El Salvador, Bush met with the region's five presidents in the White House and identified "leftist groups" - not poverty, not gang violence, not military and government corruption - as the chief danger facing Central America.

— greg grandin, empire's workshop: latin america, the united states, and the rise of the new imperialism

Posted by: b real | Jul 30 2006 15:53 utc | 8

Israeli Ambassador is now spewing his lies and hatred as I write this at the U.N. Security Council Emergency meeting.

I am so angry and disgusted - I am afraid to even write this post expressing my anger - my emotions may tempt me to say something I will regret.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jul 30 2006 16:15 utc | 9

@b real

dots and even more dots...

State Dept. Quashed 9/11 Links To Global Drug Trade -FBI Whistleblower

"Here is the quote from the Maria Heller show about Hastert:

what happened was, FBI had this information since 1997. In 1999, the Clinton Administration actually asked the Department of Justice to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Hastert, and certain other elected officials that were not named in this (VF) article, to be investigated formally. And the Department of Justice actually went about appointing this prosecutor, but after the Administration changed they quashed that investigation and they closed it despite the fact they had all sorts of evidence, again I�m talking about wiretaps, documents- paper documents- that was highly explosive and could have been easily used to indict the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. That investigation was closed in 2001, and this was around the time I started reporting my cases to the Congress.
meria heller Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sibel, Giraldi, American Conservative Mag
Philip Giraldi from Cannistraro Associates has a column in the April 24 (print) edition of The American Conservative magazine about the story surrounding Sibel Edmonds.

According to Sibel, this is "a fantastic short piece by Phil Giraldi; it sums up the case very well, considering the length... as far as published articles go, this one nails it 100%"

I've liberated the article from print:
Sibel Edmonds, the Turkish FBI translator turned whistleblower who has been subjected to a gag order could provide a major insight into how neoconservatives distort US foreign policy and enrich themselves at the same time. On one level, her story appears straightforward: several Turkish lobbying groups allegedly bribed congressmen to support policies favourable to Ankara. But beyond that, the Edmonds revelations become more serpentine and appear to involve AIPAC, Israel and a number of leading neoconservatives who have profited from the Turkish connection. Israel has long cultivated a close relationship with Turkey since Ankara's neighbours and historic enemies - Iran, Syria and Iraq - are also hostile to Tel Aviv. Islamic Turkey has also had considerable symbolic value for Israel, demonstrating that hostility to Muslim neighbours is not a sine qua non for the Jewish state.
Sibel, Giraldi, American Conservative Mag

Interview (Sat) w/ Scott Horton-
Scott and Sibel Edmonds discuss (as much as allowed by law) the new Vanity Fair article about the crimes she uncovered while translating intercepts at the FBI. Here: Download MP3

Listen Stream Audio

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 30 2006 16:38 utc | 10

Speaking of dots...

With regards to the Interesting new laws BushCo is seeking... Put this and that together with a few (hundred) signing statements and it certainly looks like they want a carte blanc, nicht wahr? eh?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 30 2006 17:29 utc | 11

dkos is obviously more concerned with lamont than lieberman with the notable exceptions of meteorblades & susan g but their almost complete blindness to the inherent violence that is as organic to the empire as its self defeating lies

malooga's essential post yesterday tears off the mask of deceit behind the type of of talk that dominates at dkos

both malooga & citizen k have spoken of a gradualism that as i understand it is not what could easily be called reformism because it calls into account the gravity of the situation we are in

howard kurtz is talking now about 'veteran journalists' & he is speaking to nic-whatever-the-fuck-his-name-is speaks of 'journalist integrity'

to paraphrase the screenplay of apocalypse now ;

howard kurtz : i am a journalist, i am a witness

lebanon : you are neither, you are scribblers whose salaries determine the debate, & it is obscenity that you call objectivity

howie : bit i just follow events & report reality

lebanon : no, your obession with yourselves means you are congenitally incapable of seeing anything outside yourself & that makes you an enemy, an enemy to be feared

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 30 2006 17:43 utc | 12

iraqui oil & everyday criminality

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 30 2006 17:47 utc | 13

Wir Wußten Nicht

Welcome to the Neo-Zionist Fourth Reich of a Thousand Years.

You only have to watch Wolf Blitzer cut off the Lebanese advisor's recommendations for a two-state solution, prisoner repatriation, 1968 borders Peace Plan, "We'll have to leave it at that," cut-away to a Sunday Morning-style downtown sunny Tel Aviv little Jewish boy sucking on his slurpy trailing his mama denouement, with no analysis, and definitely no video of today's latest war crime by the Israeli Army, entombing 50 dead Lebanese children in rubble of an entire apartment block.

Neo Math:
Little boy in Tel Aviv with slurpy. Good. Eye candy.
50 dead children in Lebanon buried in rubble. Que?

Wir wußten nicht.

Posted by: | Jul 30 2006 17:49 utc | 14

Qana Massacre - SEE FOR YOURSELF
Made in the USA, imported by Israel.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 30 2006 17:57 utc | 15

Why are the Israelis being enduced or encouraged to kick the shit out of Lebanon and eradicate Hizbulla by USuk?

To turn ME countries reluctant to ally with the US (thus except Saudi, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar) into a patchwork of impotent statelets or just ‘areas’ drawn on religious, ethnic, or other lines, with local potentates in command. The rationale is that Arab/Muslims are basically ungovernable. Religious leadership is good, provided it is local, as the religion keeps people pious, poor, powerless, cohesive and more or less content.

Arab/Muslim opposition movements, be they religious, secular, nationalist, ‘terrorist’ or anything else at all, coming from the top (Baath), or the desert/slum roots (Sadr) or anti/Gvmt (AlQ in the common perception, Muslim brothers) or semi-instituted (Hamas, Hizbulla) have to be eradicated if they oppose the US plan or can’t be instrumentalised / agree to it.

That is why the Taliban were quite popular with the US (before pipeline troubles and general fatigue set in) and that today Karzai is caught in a dilemma: he has to keep order without power and without being able to control the country - and so deals with the warlords / Taliban (many of whom are in the Gvmt.)

The same US attitude would apply to wide women’s liberation movement - their headquarters would be targetted.

Why? Because most, or all, of these oppositional strands or groups are sincere - either about helping themselves and their people, or just helping themselves, and they understand that control of energy is a key, that they must have some strong and sure participatory stake in the exploitation of energy ressources.

Of course, the Pals are not in that position, but they have become a symbol of the Arab street people’s plight, and are under attack because of Isr. aims; nor are the Afghanis, so poor, under double domination, and living off the drug trade. (Drugs being amongst the top 4: Oil, arms, drugs, slaves.) the Taliban slashed poppy fields to make prices rise and sent women home to polish off the State (40 to 50% of Gvmt. employees, teachers, doctors, etc. were women.) It had nothing to do with religion.

Israelis don’t give a fig for this grand strategy - they want land, water, a bigger, safer country. (The Irish don’t care about this strategy either - they want ...) At the same time, they want to keep US cash and a sort of ‘special position’ - the jewel of the ME, the only democracy, etc. They are caught in a bind, the bind of the mistress who is a prisoner of her own device.

Israel, in US terms, those used in the Clean Break paper for example, is a very old fashioned, unrealistic country, with a lot of lazy and incompetent people hanging about, holding a flat-earth attitude - everything will be fine, our patrons will help us, it is only right, all we need to do is control / get rid of our internal enemies. Their extreme racism has been provoked and then accepted by the West.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 30 2006 18:16 utc | 16

[From an Afghan warlord I spoke with in Kabul, over tea:]

"I love your Jesus, but I hate your Christ."

Jesus (and G-d for that matter) has nothing to
do with Secular NeoConmunism in America today.

Repeat that meme every massacre by PNAC/AIPAC.

Secular Zionist NeoConmunism

G-d need not apply.

Posted by: Peristroika Shalom | Jul 30 2006 18:20 utc | 17

their obscenity has no limits : -

in the culture of centcom - the idf by a form of sleight of hand using their plasma screens, drones, etc try to sell the story that the katushya came from the buiding even tho their own video does not prove that - just a likelihood - they commit a war crime a war crime of dazzling obscenity & they attempt the jurisprudence of jeu

the lebanon prime minister has made it clear he will talk to no one unless it is to speak of ceasfire - he demanded that rice not come & it is presented like she had something to do with that decision

the empire wants only vassalls & victims

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 30 2006 18:31 utc | 18

It has everything to do with 2008.

Everyone knows the End of the World
(as we believe in it) is coming 2008.

2008 will bring riots in the streets,
oil over $100/bbl, SSTF and MediCaid
declared officially bankrupt, the US$
crashing along with the US stockmarket
along with the US economy. Have you
seen the financials lately? The short
interest? The float on remnimbi? SF?

Yet we all have to keep racing forward,
like Harrison Ford racing in front of
that giant rolling boulder. Those who
are fleet and swift may even survive.
Those who are slow, feeble, old, women,
children, 3rdW, Qana-ese, will be dead.

This race is vers the Swift and the Dead,
racing for the Golden Apples of the Sun.

Posted by: | Jul 30 2006 18:34 utc | 19

Although its not like it is something new...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 30 2006 18:41 utc | 20

Has the euphamism 'pounding' ever been used more in the press to describe slaughtering? Try as I might, Shylock keep coming to mind.

Posted by: biklett | Jul 30 2006 19:00 utc | 21

ahmed fatfat - the acting foreign minister of lebanon has insisted as part of the 7 point plan that they will only accept u n forces not nato, nor any other force of imposition. he made that point a number of times

mark regev - that little doll from the israeli propaganda ministy stretches the lie so inelegantly & his repitition of the only u n decret that serves its interests & not the flock of other declaration from th u n makes it into a poor joke. the little fucker earns his money & he is obviously adored by his 'interviewers'

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 30 2006 19:15 utc | 22

on al arabyia - an incredible sequence of from quana - with the people speaking & speaking with an eloquence that should bring us shame

one man very tersely but with a resoluteness broke a branch of a tree with flowers & threw it at the bodies telling the camera - they want to make us into monsters, by doing this action you want to turn us into monsters, you cannot turn us into monster

he said this with a clarity & a humanity that turns the turgid treatises of marc regev into the sordid shit they really are

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 30 2006 19:42 utc | 23

looks like another massive protest in mexico today in support of AMLO. the slide show says "Thousands of supporters", the reuters story says "At least 100,000 protesters", but this one was expected to draw a bigger turnout than the 1.5 - 2 million who came out for the one three weeks back.

Posted by: b real | Jul 30 2006 20:03 utc | 24

MEXICO: Gunmen attack university radio station

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 31 2006 2:59 utc | 25

folks, let's take a look at what the "free press" thinks of democracy. here's a sampling of the headlines & lead paragraphs in reporting on AMLO's march today in mexico

AP: Mexican leftist urges blockades in capital

Leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called Sunday for hundreds of thousands of his supporters to erect permanent protest camps to cripple Mexico's capital until a disputed presidential election is decided.

Addressing about a half-million marchers filling the city's historic central plaza and spilling down fashionable Reforma boulevard, Lopez Obrador said, "I propose we stay here permanently until the court resolves this ... That we stay here day and night."

reuters: Mexico leftists occupy capital in election protest

A fiery leftist who says he was robbed of victory in Mexico's presidential election set up protest camps to paralyze the heart of the capital on Sunday after hundreds of thousands of people marched to demand a vote recount.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would join supporters in living day and night at the camps in the Zocalo square and on main roads running through the city center until Mexico's electoral court orders and completes a recount of every vote.

[an earlier version of the reuters article carried the alarming headline "Mexican leftists swarm capital in election protest"]

AFP: More than one million Mexicans rally against 'election fraud'

More than one million supporters of leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador rallied to denounce alleged election fraud they blamed for his defeat in the July 2 presidential elections.

Government officials said some 1.2 million Lopez Obrador backers filled the capital's streets chanting "no to fraud" and calling for a vote-by-vote recount of the 41.7 million ballots cast in the election.

nyt: Leftist Plans Sit-Ins to Challenge Mexico Vote

Four weeks after a very close election plunged this country into political crisis, the leftist candidate escalated his campaign to undo the official results, telling a mass rally of his supporters on Sunday that they must engage in civil disobedience to “defend democracy” and force the recognition of “my triumph as president.”

“Mexico does not deserve to be governed by an illegitimate president,” said the candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor who election officials say lost the national election by a mere 243,000 votes of 41 million cast.

wapo: Mexican Leftist Urges Blockades in Capital

Leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called Sunday for hundreds of thousands of his supporters to erect permanent protest camps to cripple Mexico's capital until a disputed presidential election is decided.

Addressing about a half-million marchers filling the city's historic central plaza and spilling down fashionable Reforma boulevard, Lopez Obrador said, "I propose we stay here permanently until the court resolves this ... That we stay here day and night."

mercury news: Another giant crowd turns out in Mexico City to call for recount

A record 1.2 million people poured into this city's central square on Sunday in another show of force by backers of leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his demand for a recount in the July 2 election that gave a narrow victory to conservative Felipe Calderon.

The turnout was less than the 2 million Lopez Obrador had promised two weeks ago, when he brought 1.1 million followers to the Zocalo, the city's historic central square.

deutsche presse-agentur: Hundreds of thousands in renewed protests against Mexican elections

More than 700 thousand demonstrators gathered in Mexico City to protest alleged fraud in the country's July 2 presidential elections, local media reported Sunday.

Called by the left-leaning candidate Lopez Obrador, marchers on the Zocalo Square in the centre of the Mexican capital called for a recount in the election.

According to the official count, the 52-year-old Obrador lost the election by 244,000 votes or 0.58 percentage points against Felipe Calderon.

mct: Another Mexico rally draws 1 million, but some followers tiring

A month after losing Mexico's closest presidential race in history, leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador rallied with hundreds of thousands of supporters Sunday and said he would live among 47 makeshift campsites to pressure for a vote recount.

It was Lopez Obrador's third mass protest following the July 2 election in which he lost by 244,000 votes with more than 41 million cast.

... [and get a load of this] ...

PRD representatives were taking up collections to keep the protest alive, but some who have been helping said they are reaching their limit.

Cab driver Juan Carlos Granados, 31, said he has been bringing supporters in from the nearby state of Hidalgo. "Some seem like they genuinely want to be here; others clearly are forced to attend," he said.

Granados himself donated his time and money because he said that otherwise, he could lose his taxi license from the PRD city government. "I have no choice, but I'm not sure I can do this for too long," he said.

Hortensia Macias, 42, a PRD supporter from the neighboring state of Mexico, said that sooner or later, the dispute was bound to get violent. "As time goes by, frustration grows," she said, as she sat on a downtown street smoking a cigarette. "I like that it's peaceful so far, but I'm ready for a fight. I'm ready to see some blood."

Not all see things quite like that. Angelina Rubio, a hotel cleaning lady, brought her 10-year-old son, Pablo Antonio, with her. "The moment this thing gets out of hand, I will lock myself up. I will continue supporting (Lopez Obrador) because I love him with all my heart, but I don't believe in violence. Violence will defeat our struggle."

bloomberg: Lopez Obrador Plans Protest Camps to Press Recount

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told hundreds of thousand of supporters packing Mexico City's central square he will set up 47 protest camps in the capital to demand a recount of ballots in the July 2 presidential election.

Lopez Obrador, who lost to governing party candidate Felipe Calderon according to the country's election agency, pledged to live in the encampments while the electoral court weighs his petition for a recount. The former Mexico City mayor drew as many 1.2 million people to the demonstration, El Universal newspaper reported, citing police.

insert relevant quote here from bob mcchesney:
The issue is simple: if our news media cannot guarantee - or at least contribute to - an environment in which the candidate who gets the most votes wins the election, then our democratic claims ring hollow.

it should be obvious from this little sampling above that the capitalist media once again has other interests/allegiances than creating an informed public & fostering democratic ideas. how long should we continue to put up w/ this?

Posted by: b real | Jul 31 2006 3:58 utc | 26

b real, i have been thinking for the last 24 hours about how critical letters to the editor are at this stage. in the u.s. street protests go unnoticed, calls to congressional representatives too often fall on deaf ears. the only thing short of civil disobedience that i can see might work is lte's. firedoglake has used this tactic and has seen some results. the internet is an invaluable tool but in order to reach the general public on its terms we must regain control of the media.

Posted by: conchita | Jul 31 2006 4:07 utc | 27

Thanks for the update, b real.

Narconews has been strangely silent about events today. Nevertheless, all the polling places have been encircled and envigiled. Seems like the real news is the brownshirts in Oaxaca -- which also could have suppressed turnout at the Zocalo. The next few days will tell more, I think. Right now, everything is up in the air.

Nevertheless, it seems inconceivable that Mexico will become very governable or compliant for the rich. A hung jury and a corrupt panel of judges could be the best of all possible worlds -- driving AMLO to the left to maintain credibility with his constituency, and driving everyone else bonkers at the inability of implementing their agenda.

Still, one has to worry about the military. I wonder if Madame Supertanker has had much time to think about this, in between playing piano, and changing her lip gloss to an even more vampirish red.

Anyway, I wonder if the gang at Kos ever wake at night in a cold sweat thinking about what would have happened if either of their last two cuckoos had half the cojones that AMLO has.

I, for one, will not be happy until Bushie is forced to look into AMLO's eyes......

[Actually, my secret dream is to see Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador?, Cuba, Syria, and Iran announce a military alliance with Moscow, and the subsequent formation of a Ruble (now fully convertible) and Yuan based oil bourse. Now that would be a development!]


Posted by: Malooga | Jul 31 2006 4:32 utc | 28


the only thing short of civil disobedience?

Your getting warm here...

Since you tacitly acknowledge that CD is what will REALLY work -- why, then, dismiss it?

Letters to the Editor help to reinforce mainstream elite opinion -- if the editors sympathize enough to even publish them.

Two tactics work: slowing down the capitalist cogs through civil disobediance, and public embarrassment, as the Qana massacre shows.

Letters to the Editor had absolutely NO effect during Vietnam -- and people actually read newspapers back then. Marches, and the threat of complete civil chaos scared the corporations to death, and pressured the government to finally relent.

Posted by: Malooga | Jul 31 2006 4:45 utc | 29

I agree totally Malooga.

Massive street protests will bring this dog down best, if anything will.

Emails to government officials and elected representatives help some.

1-4 million people in Washington, and more millions in other cities, about Oct. 15, would get some serious attention.

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Jul 31 2006 5:41 utc | 30

And for anybody who still believes that ANYONE in Washington should be supported, how about this chilling little item fom Bill Blum's latest anti-empire report:

Since 9-11 it has been a calculated US-Israeli tactic to label the fight against Israel's foes as an integral part of the war on terror. On July 19, a rally was held in Washington, featuring the governor of Maryland, several members of Israeli-occupied Congress, the Israeli ambassador, and evangelical leading-light John Hagee. The Washington Post reported that "Speaker after prominent speaker characteriz[ed] current Israeli fighting as a small branch of the larger U.S.-led global war against Islamic terrorism" and "Israel's attacks against the Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah were blows against those who have killed civilians from Bali to Bombay to Moscow." Said the Israeli ambassador: "This is not just about [Israel]. It's about where our world is going to be and the fate and security of our world. Israel is on the forefront. We will amputate these little arms of Iran," referring to Hezbollah.[5]
And if the war on terror isn't enough to put Israel on the side of the angels, John Hagee has argued that "the United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West". He speaks of "a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ."[6]

Not only did not a single congresscritter dissent from the Poliburo's party line incorporating Israel's battle against their neighbors with the ever-expanding TWAT (The War Against Terror), but it is even more chilling that not a single one spoke out against Hagee's eschatological excrescense! Not a one of them..... What does that tell us? Is there really room for all of them to be magically "raptured up" to Cheney's "secret hiding place" in the hills of West Virginia. Surely, there is no room left over for you and me.

Posted by: Malooga | Jul 31 2006 6:00 utc | 31

Intersting news from AP about a,2933,206263,00.html>"shake up" in the Iraqi government:

BAGHDAD, Iraq  — Changes will be made in the Iraqi Cabinet following an escalation in violence threatening Baghdad, politicians said Sunday.

The Cabinet changes could take place as soon as next week, said Hassan al-Suneid, a lawmaker from the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa party.

Among the ministries that could be affected is Interior because of a collapse in security as bloody sectarian attacks escalate. Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani is under fire because of the ongoing violence.
Some ministries expected to be affected include the health, transport and justice ministries.

The first set of changes in al-Maliki's cabinet will include the service ministries, followed shortly afterward by security ministries — which are among the most important as bloody sectarian clashes threaten to unravel the country.

I'm pretty sure that the ministries of health and transportation are controled by Sadr appointments. We'll see if (this happens) this is a purge of Muqdada's people from government funding through their control of these ministries, and play proxie into the U.S. attempts to marginalize his influence. Already he is reportedly "boiling" over over the attack on Hizbollah, a mentor to his own movement, and no doubt Maliki's recent trip to Wahington. Juan Cole also says that Sistani has released an unusually strong statement condeming the attacks on Hezbollah -- with the implication that the statement is ment (also) as a hedge against Sadr's rising star outshinning himself. Its going to take some pretty fancy footwork by Maliki to give Muqtada the boot, in that he's not only the Iraqi face of Hezbollah, but also the kingmaker that enabled his own election. Somebody (Zalamy Khalilizad) is playing with some serious dynamite here.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 31 2006 8:11 utc | 32

In Canada I caught a few minutes of "Question Period," a show on commercial tv's CTV -- the original alternative to state-run CBC.

Quite a good segment, they had the NDP and Liberal foreign policy critics up against the Parliamentary Secretary who represented the ruling Conservatives, PM Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister MacKay. I think.

The questions were, first Harper supported Israel's (quote) "measured response." I've heard that exact phrase from a US official commenting on previous Israeli actions so I think it is a code word. Then came the fumbled evacuation of civilians from Lebanon. Then came the death of a Canadian Forces Major in the shelling of the UN post.

Well-asked and well-reported by the moderator. The government response emphasized the complexity in the region, focused on the completed extraction of 11,000 Canadians, then continued with "no ceasefire unless it is a lasting ceasefire." Straight from the playbook, but by a Canadian government spokesperson.

Really! Where did you get that? A quick view of the CTV website finds an interesting title,

"Canada not parroting U.S. pro-Israel policy: MacKay (07/23/2006)

While the prime minister has been criticized by some for siding with Israel, Foreign Minister Peter MacKay says Canada has not abandoned its traditional mediator role in foreign affairs."

So they hit again on Canada's 50-year role as mediator, even-handed in the ME, and the usefulness (less deaths) of an immediate, even if short-term, ceasefire. Also (the liberal guy) talked about the lack of foreign policy expertise in the Harper government. The commentator noted that domestic issues dominated the federal election campaign less than a year ago ...

More runarounds from the Parliamentary Secretary.

It was nice to see some truth and accuracy from my government's minority MPs being covered on TV. I don't watch it much but I guess the citizens do.

They also spoke about a foreign policy review this coming week, hope that is well-covered too.

I am given some hope by this, CTV has a wide audience and it is giving good coverage. Mr. Harper is probably not in such a big hurry now to rush a majority-granting election.

Posted by: jonku | Jul 31 2006 9:41 utc | 33

Thanks Malooga #31

speaking of John Hagee

Christian Right Steps Up Pro-Israel Lobbying

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 31 2006 11:53 utc | 34

I have been thinking about the comment made on a previous thread that one shouldn't form a coalition with Sadr (always called the "radical" cleric, when he is actually reactionarily conservative), because he restricts women's rights.

I suppose this means, de facto, allying oneself with the equally reactionary quisling, Sistani, who flew off to London for his personal instructions.

As many deaths, and as much violence as Sadr has caused with his resistance, it pales before the sea of blood caused by Sistani -- and his refusal to call for peaceful mass demonstrations two years ago -- in order to evict the occupiers, when he had the power to do so. Every Shiite who dies now -- and in the future because of DU -- every one of those deaths lies upon his head.

I believe that when history is eventually written by the Shiites of the region, he will be seen as the great traitor to his people that he is. History will not judge his inaction kindly.

Posted by: Malooga | Jul 31 2006 14:25 utc | 35

Speaking of traitors:

Condi Feels Lebanon’s Pain

Posted by: beq | Jul 31 2006 14:42 utc | 36

I'm not sure what it means to "form a coalition" with Sadr. Can you explain? Are we signing up to beat disobedient daughters to death or can we join the death squads that carry out retaliatory raids against Sunnis? Are we enthusiastically lining up against football in the name of the international oppressed masses? Can we all at least agree on the salutary effect of stoning in Iran and how Iraq will benefit? Or can we assist in the campaign to stop Zionist picnicking and women who play music?

Another major source of extremist mores is firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Last March, Mr. Sadr's followers disrupted a picnic held by Basra University students, during which men and women - many with their hair uncovered - played secular music and mingled freely. In the ensuing melee, Sadrists beat and robbed students, and one woman temporarily lost her eyesight. And though Sadr's office later apologized for the incident, some members remain unrepentant. "We believe we have a religious task to separate good behavior from bad," says Abu Zahara al-Mayahi, a director of Sadr's Basra office.

The militias have also harassed Basra's media. At the scene of the picnic attack, for example, Sadr's men physically assaulted and broke the equipment of cameramen trying to film the event.

Recently, the author of a newspaper article about the Sadrist movement received death threats because the newspaper accompanied the article with a photograph that showed many women with uncovered hair.

But even this type of thuggery is not the only manifestation of religious extremism in Basra today. "This is a city where if you have a birthday party for your child, you could end up dead," says one Iraqi journalist.

As drama professor Thawra Yousif Yaakub relates, her sister-in-law Salina belonged to an all-female band that performed at baby showers, birthday parties, and other festive occasions, playing before all-women audiences only. Last May, the band were unloading their equipment on the street after a gig, when a man leaped out of a car and opened fire, killing Salina and another band member.

"They died because they were women and they made music," Yaakub says.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2006 14:52 utc | 37


Posted by: beq | Jul 31 2006 15:25 utc | 38

How I learned to love Vlad

If he left voluntarily at the height of his powers, he would be the first Russian leader to do so, perhaps securing the epitaph of being the most enlightened leader in the country's recent history. He faces little competition for that title. Only death robbed the tsars, Lenin, Stalin and the other communists of their thrones. Mikhail Gorbachev was forced out by Yeltsin, who was in turn forced out by his ailing health. After Putin's recent performance at the G8 summit, where he hosted world leaders in his home town of St Petersburg while sarcastically goading George Bush over Iraq and Tony Blair over cash-for-peerages, his poll rating has soared to a 79% high. It will take a real patriot to step down now.

But this brings me to the real reason why I am a Putin fan: he has put Russia on a course that means it will soon no longer be his choice whether he, or perhaps his successor, stays in power. Commerce, not politics, will bring Russia round. Russians have fallen irreversibly in love with denghi - their ugly word for money - and the mobility and riches of the globalised world. Thanks to Putin, a strong enough state now exists to gradually compel them to pay taxes. The Kremlin, despite its Soviet-era idiocies, still cares hugely whether it is popular, and hence often uses these monies to the electorate's benefit. With increasing taxation comes an increasing demand for representation, and eventually the government will fear the people, rather than the other way around.

Posted by: b | Jul 31 2006 16:26 utc | 40

rip, m. bookchin:

It is tempting to venture into a utopian description of how an ecological society would look and how it would function, but I have promised to leave such visions to the utopian dialogue that we so direly need today. However, certain biotic and cultural imperatives cannot be ignored if our concept of an ecological society is to have integrative meaning and self-conscious direction. Perhaps the most striking example of how natural evolution phases into social evolution is the fact that we are the heirs of a strong natural thrust toward association. Owing to our prolonged dependency as children and the plasticity of mind that this long period of growt1i provides, we are destined to live together as a species. Highly privatistic pathologies aside, we have a maternally biased need to associate, to care for our own kind, to collaborate. Whether in village or town, polis or city, commune or megalopolis, we seem impelled by the very nature of our child-rearing experiences and attributes to live in a highly associative world.

But what kind of associations could we expect to find in our future ecological society? While the kinship tie or the blood oath is a more strictly biological basis for association than any form we know, it is pat ently too parochial and restrictive, in view of our modern commitment to a universal humanitas. Indeed, it is fair to ask whether the strictly biological is necessarily more "natural" than the human social attributes produced by natural evolution. Our very concept of nature may be more fully expressed by the way in which biological facts are integrated structurally to give rise to more complex and subtle forms of natural reality. Society itself may be a case in point, at least in terms of its abiding basic elements, and human associations that extend beyond the blood tie may reflect more complex forms of natural evolution than the highly limited biological kinship relations. If human nature is part of nature, the associations that rest on universal human loyalties may well be expressions [344] of a richer, more variegated nature than we hitherto have been prepared to acknowledge.

In any case, it is apparent that we score a much richer ecological advance over the conventional biological wisdom of early humanity when we relate on the basis of a simple affinity of tastes, cultural similar ities, emotional compatibilities, sexual preferences, and intellectual interests. Nor are we any the less natural for doing so. Even more preferable than the blood-related family is the commune that unites individuals by what they choose to like in each other rather than what they are obliged by blood ties to like. Conscious cultural affinity is ultimately a more creative basis for association than the unthinking demands of kin loyalties. The rudiments of an ecological society will probably be structured around the commune-freely created, human in scale, and intimate in its consciously cultivated relationships-rather than clan or tribal forms that are often fairly sizable and anchored in the imperatives of blood and the notion of a common ancestry. It is not "retribalization" that an ecological society is likely to seek but rather recommunalization with its wealth of creative libertarian traits.

On a still larger scale, the Commune composed of many small communes seems to contain the best features of the polls, without the ethnic parochialism and political exclusivity that contributed so significantly to its decline. Such larger or composite Communes, networked confederally through ecosystems, bioregions, and biomes, must be artistically tailored to their natural surroundings. We can envision that their squares will be interlaced by streams, their places of assembly surrounded by groves, their physical contours respected and tastefully landscaped, their soils nurtured caringly to foster plant variety for ourselves, our domestic animals, and wherever possible the wildlife they may support on their fringes. We can hope that the Communes would aspire to live with, nourish, and feed upon the life-forms that indigenously belong to the ecosystems in which they are integrated.

Decentralized and scaled to human dimensions, such ecocommunities would obey nature's "law of return" by recycling their organic wastes into composted nutriment for gardens and such materials as they can rescue for their crafts and industries. We can expect that they would subtly integrate solar, wind, hydraulic, and methane-producing installations into a highly variegated pattern for producing power. Agriculture, aquaculture, stockraising, and hunting would be regarded as crafts-an orientation that we hope would be extended as much as possible to the fabrication of use-values of nearly all kinds. The need to mass-produce goods in highly mechanized installations would be vastly diminished by the communities' overwhelming emphasis on quality and permanence. Vehicles, clothing, furnishings, and utensils would often become heirlooms to be handed down from generation to generation rather than discardable items that are quickly sacrificed to the gods of obsolescence. The past would always live in the present as the treasured arts and works of generations gone by.

We could expect that work, more craftlike than industrial, would be as readily rotated as positions of public responsibility; that members of the communities would be disposed to deal with one another in face-to face relationships rather than by electronic means. In a world where the fetishization of needs would give way to the freedom to choose needs, quantity to quality, mean-spirited egotism to generosity, and indifference to love, we might reasonably expect that industrialization would be seen as an insult to human physiological rhythms and that physically onerous tasks would be reworked into collective enterprises more festive than laborious in nature. Whether several ecocommunities would want to share and cojointly operate certain industrial entities-such as a small-scale foundry, machine shop, electronic installation, or utility-or whether they would want to return to more traditional but often technically exciting means of producing goods is a decision that belongs to future generations. Certainly, no law of production requires that we retain or expand the gigantic, highly centralized and hierarchically organized plants, mills, and offices that disfigure modern industry. By the same token, it is not for us to describe in any detail, how the Communes of the future would confederate themselves and coordinate their cominon activities. Any institutional relationship of which we could conceive would remain a hollow form until we knew the attitudes, sensibilities, ideals, and values of the_pe.ople who.establish and maintain it. As I have already pointed out, a libertarian institution is a peopled one; hence its purely formal structure will be neither better nor worse than the ethical values of the people who give it reality. Certainly we, who have been saturated with the values of hierarchy and domination, cannot hope to impose our "doubts" upon people who have been totally freed of their trammels. THE ECOLOGY OF FREEDOM: THE EMERGENCE AND DISSOLUTION OF HIERARCHY (1991) (revised edition).

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2006 17:33 utc | 41

r i p
pierre vidal naquet - classics scholar/engaged intellectual

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 31 2006 17:35 utc | 42

I am quite sure that citizen k knows some of the history of how "the defense of oppressed foreign women" is mobilized by payroll poets to kill, maim, and genocide colonials. So I don't imagine ck is ignoring this. But how does ck take account of it? I do wonder why ck mentions such a thing at all to determine who one's allies should and should not be.

I'm guessing that the most likely reason is that it is the same way both brother k and I might choose our allies domestically. And if we choose our allies domestically, then why should we hold foreign allies to lower standards? Alright, say we agree on this (I'm not sure about that yet, but).

If brother k and I were living in a place under foreign occupation, under threat from death squads, and under threat from the sheer potential violence of large crowds of people unemployed and desperate to save their own families... If we were presented with a church (a group of people united religiously) that promised to defend us from the invaders, and the death squads, and the for-profit kidnappers, and the starvation and diseases so long as we abided by their rules, would we say no thanks? Would we refuse to join a group because although it saved 100, it destroyed 10? Isn't this the sort of calculus that made Israel in the 20th century?

Not exactly. The Israelis do not require woment to cover up, do not require dancing to cease, or music CDs, etc. All that is required is the sacrifice that Ursula LeGuin once described in The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.

I am wondering, ck, if you are saying that you would walk away from Sadr because you would walk away, as LeGuin put it?

Posted by: citizen | Jul 31 2006 17:38 utc | 43

van i remind my friendsn malooga & ck, that it is the united states who created the abbatoirs that now exist in iraq

an iraq where everything is possible for the profiteers of all kinds & only a violent death, one day or another, for the people

this bloodshed has not fallen from the skies even though we know a great part of it has

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 31 2006 17:41 utc | 44

powerful stuff citizen,

I don't know that I would walk away either.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 31 2006 18:06 utc | 45

Citizen: Where morality and tactics break ranks, we have ugly choices. But I don't see how anyone gains from claiming Mr. Sadr and his religious police as "allies" either tactically or morally. To me, and please correct me if I am wrong, the very idea that we must "support" Mr. Sadr is a vestige of the romantic delusions of the 70s left, it's Jane Fonda posing cutely on an anti-aircraft gun - neither providing actual concrete assistance to prevent US bombing of civilians or moving forward to build coalitions in the US.

Morally, I think that the record is pretty clear that the young Sadr is one more of the evil things we are responsible for in Iraq. Bremmer's failure to live up to the obligations of an occupying power allowed armed gangs to replace the civil authorities and begin a regime of terror - Riverbend has been most eloquent on that.

To me, it seems clear that the much maligned Kos is doing a pretty effective job of opposing the war and Ned Lamont, despite his reluctance to endorse Hizbolla is a sign of hope for the region. Not because I agree with all his politics, but because the non-jellyfish Democrats are allies.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2006 18:34 utc | 46

Thank you citizen & r'giap for putting my argument in a coherent context.

Ah, Murray... Now there was a man who had soul, real soul.

Take a few idle moments to poke around:

Bookchin Archive

Institute for Social Ecology

One of my strongest criticisms of Amy Goodman (and also the team I produced radio with for two years in Boston), is that while they provide endless hours for Sy Hersh and Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn and Harry Belafonte, and many others -- all very worthy people in their own rights -- perhaps 50 hours/yr. in total with people whose work is fairly familiar to the general public; others, visionaries, such as Bookchin, and Andre Gunder Frank, and Gene Sharp, and Immanuel Wallerstein, and Ken Knapp, and Wade Frazier, etc., whose work could really broaden the horizons between "bad Bushism" and a general progressive consciousness, are completely omitted. I almost fell off my seat last month when Amy had on Bertold Ollman, perhaps the most renowned Marxist academician in the US. Of course, he was not speaking about the body of his work at all.

For us tragically handicapped Anglophones, here is the Wikipedia entry in English for pierre vidal naquet (Actually, you may have to click on the English link on left to translate.)

And for those who remember The Faurisson Affair, with Chomsky; here is some vintage Naquet:

Vidal-Naquet also criticized the 1990 Gayssot Act which prohibits revisionist discourse, claiming that the law shouldn't interfer in historical matters [3]. Vidal-Naquet's arguments against legislation relating to historical studies is not, however, a door opened to negationist speech. He once declared that he would rather name revisionists "negationists", and that he wouldn't discuss with them for "simple and scientific reasons. An astronomer doesn't debate with an astrologuer. I wouldn't discuss with someone who supports the idea that the moon is made of Roquefort [a type of French cheese]... it is impossible." [4]

Of course, De Gaulle was famously quoted on the impossibility of governing a country with 240 different kinds of cheese. Still, little did he suspect that a country with only one type of indigenous cheese (Velveeta), could be so easily led by the collective nose-ring. I imagine for those neo-cons who "create their own reality" the moon could be made of any type of cheese they so choose. All one has to do is offer Pat Robertson a little wedge......

Posted by: Malooga | Jul 31 2006 18:39 utc | 47

Storm Troopers Bust Cellphone Photographer

They hate us for our freedom:

A Philadelphia man is free just days after local cops humiliated themselves by unlawfully arresting a man for taking pictures with his cell phone.

Neftaly Cruz, a 21-year-old senior at Penn State, was at his parents home Wednesday night when he heard a ruckus outside. He stepped out of the house and saw a line of police cars on the street.

"I opened (my camera phone) and took a shot," Cruz told NBC 10's Harry Hairston.


"They threatened to charge me with conspiracy, impeding an investigation, obstruction of a investigation," Cruz said. "They said, 'You were impeding this investigation.' (I asked,) "By doing what?' (The officer said,) 'By taking a picture of the police officers with a camera phone.'"

Cruz's mother, Aracelis Cruz, says she was told the same thing.

"He said he was taking pictures with his cell phone and that was obstructing an investigation."

After an hour of desperately trying to find a law Cruz had broken, cops came up empty. Lacking the courage to admit their mistake, they told Cruz they were going to do him a favor.

"They said if the supervisor was there I wouldn't be a free man and that he is letting me go because he felt that I was a good person," Cruz said.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 31 2006 18:43 utc | 48

One of the most disingenuous acts of racism against Arabic people is to suggest that the incidence of violence against women in the society is firstly a direct result of the majority religion, Islam, and secondly that it is higher/than worse than the incidence in xtian countries.

The fact that it is generally men of the judeo/xtian ethic asserting this serves to completely undercut any validity. When it is asserted by anyone living on either American continent it must be regarded as being a deliberate attempt to insert lies and propaganda into a serious issue that they would do well to keep their interfering and self serving noses out of.

They can only be attempting to hide behind a wall of obfuscation to conceal their misogynous culture's far worse incidence of female oppression.

Just last week Federal authorities conceded that they were not going to prosecute the murderers of women on the Mexican/US border. The obscene number of homicides against women in the area includes 400 women in the Juarez alone area since 1993. The rate of violence particularly homicide against women in the area around the mexico/amerika border is far higher than anywhere in the Middle East yet amerikans persist in the notion that somehow the people of the ME treat women worse than they do. What they really mean is that the people of the ME are reluctant to see any of their people become unthinking soap opera watching consumerists. The women who are allegedly 'safe' in Amerika are the women of the bourgeois. If they are safe, which is debatable it is at the expense of the millions more poor women of the Americas who pay a huge price for those other women's safety.

Men who wish to practice violence against women take it out on the least able to defend themselves either the poor women in ghetto amerika or more recently by outsourcing. Why just get your jeans made cheap South of the Border? Go South for a cheap rape and murder as well!

"Hell there's some synergy there. Hold on while I talk to a Hollywood agent I know."

"What a great idea! We'll make a movie while we're having fun. Make a dollar!"

"Bordertown"! How's that for a name?"

"Whaddya mean its been done! Dammit." "Well then how about "The Virgin of Juarez "? That will get the Catholics along."

"Hear about that Mel Gibson?"

"Fucking mamzer"

Of course if it were just on the Mexican/amerikan border that would be bad, but not an epidemic.
If only it were confined to that area.

In Guatemala so far this year nearly 200 women have been murdered:

UNITED NATIONS (WOMENSENEWS)--In the first four months of this year, almost 200 women in Guatemala were murdered.

Like the other 1,800 women who have been killed in that country since 2001, they were young and poor, usually hailing from the cities. Their bodies were found in gutters and empty lots, sometimes missing breasts or eyes, sometimes beheaded and, other times, cut to pieces.

During the past five years, only 14 of these murder cases have been resolved. And there may be hundreds more murders that have gone unreported.

While far more men than women are murdered in Guatemala, the rate at which women are being killed has jumped dramatically in the past four years and the sexualized circumstances of the slayings alarms local and international rights advocates."

No wonder. Two hundred women in a population of 14 million is incredibly high.

We thought that the incidence of violence against women was high in NZ and it has been made a priority for our society to address, but as near as I can work out female homicides here run at about 12% of the Guatemalan rate, the vast majority of which are solved, which still makes it something to be ashamed of and something which will require everybody's involvement to redress.

If this rate of female homicide has increased as drastically in Guatemala as has been suggested, it may well be tied to the death squads introduced, trained and funded by Amerika. If that is the case one can only hope that the emphasis Iraqi society has always placed upon protecting women will protect Iraqi women from a similar fate.

Incidentally it would be interesting to compare the rate of violence against women in Amerika with that of the ME. My notion would be that the amerikan people kill women at a far higher rate than 'those ragheads do'.

Still what better way to conceal that deplorable fact than to attack Middle Eastern societies for being 'different' and by implication therefore worse.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 31 2006 18:44 utc | 49

Banality Of Evil by Deck Deckert

It's long past time that we stopped referring to our wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, and now Israel's war against Lebanon, in dispassionate terms involving differing views of geopolitics, strategic interests, mistaken foreign policy, rights of self defense, etc.

We are talking about crimes against decency, crimes against humanity. We are talking about war crimes.

And we are talking about evil.

People are being slaughtered -- civilians, children. They are not combatants, not soldiers. They are not, in that most obscene phrase so readily accepted by the corporate media, "collateral damage." They are innocents being blown apart, blinded, burned, paralyzed, hideously deformed, living and dying in agony.

We are talking about evil.

Posted by: beq | Jul 31 2006 19:14 utc | 50


i don't know skynews seems to be like murdoch's british version of dkos - so perhaps it can be taken with a great deal of salt - are making a point of syria's assad'demands on his military to be in a state of high readiness & is making much of israels's demand to the lebanese "to stop cryin to the u n & place their destiny in their hands"

it is hard to tell if these is a noh play or a no play

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 31 2006 20:04 utc | 51

gag me

Posted by: annie | Jul 31 2006 20:10 utc | 52

Wonderful news: my friends who were getting married in Beirut made contact today. They made it back by driving out of the country. Everything had to change, date, location, guests, but they are married now and back in the U.S.

I'll see them later this week - for now I'm just relieved.

Posted by: citizen | Jul 31 2006 20:44 utc | 53

Debs might consider this a "deliberate attempt to insert lies and propaganda into a serious issue," but here's a little bit of information some people might find useful.

First, fwiw, violence against women in a population is really a straw man argument if women in one population live in virtual segregation or isolation, no matter what the actual stats may be. (I looked for some and didn't see them. Maybe someone knows of a reputable study.)

But first, a few questions of my own:

If a society hides women and doesn't grant them the same rights as a male, might statistics about violence be more about how much freedom or equality or lack of that women know in a society? If the society allows honor killings, would those be listed as a crime? If a female isn't ALLOWED to live alone, that might have some bearing on violence too. If a woman can't divorce, or isn't allowed custody of her children, would that woman be likely to report violence against her by her husband?

So I don't know what the reasoning is for the argument about violence against women if it's not coupled with evidence of women's rights overall. But the issue of women's rights is an issue that debs cannot argue and win because the statistics are readily available on the systemic discrimination against women. It's not a matter of interpretation to look at educational statistics. However, there are those who want to argue that western models of education, enfranchisment and ability to work are not goals, as far as women and human rights. I'm not one of those people.

In 1995, the Global HDR introduced the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) to measure the participation of women as reflected by income per person, women’s share of professional and technical positions, and women’s share of parliamentary seats. The Arab region’s ranking is lower than any region except sub-Saharan Africa.

...Arab countries have neither signed nor ratified CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Women also suffer from unequal citizenship and legal entitlements. In some countries with elected national assemblies, women are still denied the right to vote or hold office. And one in every two Arab women can neither read nor write.

The 2003 Arab Human Development Report(.pdf) shows some improvement, but again, the Arab nations are only matched by sub Saharan Africa in the dire situation for women's rights.

Better evidence for the overall outlook for women in a nation is whether or not they are allowed to get an education. Female education is a predictor for democracy and modernization of a culture, as demographer Emmanuel Todd noted, which, in turn, correlates with falling birth rates and higher standards of living for populations. I assume democracy is a desired outcome, compared to current models based upon clan rule (which the U.S. emulates more and more every day, as Bush allows more religious fanatics to control the course of society here.)

According to UN reports, Arab states have 48.8% female literacy rate, compared to an average of 67% in developing countries, or more than 80% in the Americas, the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe, and East Asia and the Pacific. Girls in Saudi Arabia were not allowed to attend school until the mid 1960s, but women are trying to improve their circumstances.

Honor killings of females who aren't virgins is a sort of violence that serves as social control. The threat of such violence takes away female autonomy in a society.

Females in Arab states have the lowest rates of political participation in the world (6%).

The Economist notes progress for women's education, along with the problems.

It is for good reason that the UN's devastating, and much-quoted, Arab Human Development Report cites women's rights, along with education and governance, as the main challenge facing the region. Statistics cannot easily capture, for example, the fact that the very idea of an unmarried woman living alone remains taboo in all but a few Arab countries. Numbers do not adequately measure the harassment that “immodest” dress routinely attracts in most Arab cities, or the destructive social impact of habits such as female circumcision (still practised widely in Egypt and Sudan), polygamy (sanctioned by Islam, yet rare except in the wealthy Gulf states), or “honour killings” (sanctioned by tribal custom, not religion, and declining—but in Jordan, more than 20 women are still murdered by their own suspicious relatives every year).

The numbers can still be revealing, though. In Egypt, a recent study showed that among families with low levels of education, baby girls are twice as likely to die as baby boys. In Yemen, the illiteracy rate among young women (54%) is three times that of men. And as for those proud Saudi women who are now earning most of the kingdom's university degrees, their prospects of careers are dim. Barely 6% of the country's workforce is female. Across the Arab region as a whole, only a third of adult women have jobs, compared with three-quarters of women in East Asia.

As The Economist also notes, it's not Islam per se that's the problem (just as it's not Christianity per se that's the's the fundamentalist and misogynist interpretation of religious texts that is the problem. )

Women and Politics in the Arab World (.pdf) has some useful information about the present state of women's rights.

Also from The Carnegie Endowment for Peace: research on women's rights in Arab nations.

Some would argue that treating people as second-class citizens (such as the Palestinians) is a sort of emotional violence, but I'm not here to make that argument. The reality of women's lives in Arab nations, however, indicates that they are not treated as fully human adults with the same rights as males. It's too bad that Bush invaded Iraq, because as much of an s.o.b. as Saddam was, at least women weren't subject to the sort of treatment that the Shi'a fundamentlists are imposing upon them.

Posted by: fauxreal | Jul 31 2006 20:52 utc | 54

Good news citizen. Thanks.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 31 2006 21:05 utc | 55


that is great news for your friends & i hope that that good news can be extended to an embattled population of lebanon but in this instance i am glad your friends made it back

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 31 2006 21:06 utc | 56

Whew, has this gotten off topic, here.

Let us remember that we just devasted the Arab state with the highest rate of education, freedom and equality in the world, while we protect the Arab states with the lowest.

This argument is drifting dangerously towards the deplorable liberal justifications for "just war."

Not to worry, in this country women are free to both join the Army to kill people they don't know, for reasons that they have no clue whatsoever of, AND get raped by their enlightened male countrymen serving beside, and literally, above, them.

Using statistics, prepared by the powerful, to excuse meddling with the powerless, is a dangerous game indeed. But, if that's your game, then the libral Kristof, over at New Pravda, is your man.

Posted by: Malooga | Jul 31 2006 21:12 utc | 57

that video makes pretty clear the sort of ties that bind the two countries at the ideological level. These are both countries of the Book.

But it does not require infinite study to recall the Christ gave a new commandment, to love. Nor that the true believers are clearly to be known because they tend to orphans and widows.

What is the relationship of Hizbullah to orphans and widows? What is the relationship of the Sadr militia to orphans and widows? Of the Catholics? We all have our disagreements, but these groups earn their social credit. It's better than nothing, we say. And that is how Sadr and his movement might earn some respect from us, because they have signed on to the norm that government must do more than take and referee, it must support life. It also means something that Israel can still call a halt because it has become too clearly the bomber of orphans and widows.

I would not engage ck on grounds such as this if I thought we were merely discussing which side we are on. It is not only possible, but essential, for a partisan to understand the conflict on a principled basis. Sadr is not my leader, I do not wish to live by his rules. However, the absence of rules is always the enemy of the weak, and I do not find Sadr and his movement to be seeking chaos. Whereas, I believe the IDF these weeks has been evidencing - by kidnapping democratically elected governments and by herding populations as if they were cattle - that it is on the side of chaos. So I repeat the question to ck of how he reconciles his choices of groups to defend. Are you defending the side that you believe creates less chaos?

I am stuck between sides - i love people on both sides of this, and I feel as if the IDF has made hostages of both sides. Were they honest defenders, they would recognize that their soldiers were captured while on an illegal invasion. They would apologize, cease bombing, and so end the rocket attacks. But this would hurt them. But that is karma, and they owe this debt.

All they would lose is a few careers. Is that such a high price to pay? No. Will they pay it willingly? No. Then what ethical obligation binds one to them? Loyalty? That is a mistake. the military, like other corporate organizations, is built to continue even when individuals are turned out. I think a lack of principle and foresight explains the continued defense of the IDF. So, again, on what principle...

Posted by: citizen | Jul 31 2006 21:38 utc | 58

LOL. this is why I quit this site. The UN is against Arabs? Or argues for a "just war?"

why is it okay for debs to post something with NO empirical evidence, other than his hatred, but if you post studies you are somehow out of line?

I guess if it's not skewed to support the dominant prejudices here then it's unacceptable. whatever.


Posted by: fauxreal | Jul 31 2006 21:52 utc | 59


each one of us brings something
that is informed by our fact or our rage
mercifully, sometimes both
& we have been relatively troll free
so do not give up the ghost

& your point is taken but so is the point of malooga's about sources & contexts

can you understand, that for all of us, it is like watching a car crash, a horrndous carcrash, & we are outside incapable of doing anything

& that coupled with wall to wall pornographypropoganda that is so full of implicit hatred of the arab people - it is easy, very easy to become sensitive

as sensitive i believe as our attempts to separate anti zionism & anti semitism

so please stay

or as we say here
rest cool abdul

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 31 2006 22:13 utc | 60

amina mire on somalia, shia & women & warlords

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 31 2006 22:21 utc | 61

bbc announce israel cabinet decision to widen conflict 00:30 cet

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 31 2006 22:23 utc | 62

walden bello: The Debacle of Doha

Several guilty parties were responsible for the recent collapse of the Doha round of trade negotiations, but none guiltier than the United States. U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab refused to make a serious offer on cutting domestic subsidies for U.S. farmers. Worse, at a late stage in the negotiations, she appeared determined to eliminate any protection for developing country farmers. The WTO's December 2005 Hong Kong Declaration designated “special products” for exemption from tariff cuts, and Schwab singled out these provisions for attack.

Why the United States chose protection of its farming lobby over the survival of the multilateral trading system it had taken the lead in creating will long be a matter of debate. In the hotly contested congressional elections in November, the Midwestern farming states could determine whether or not the U.S. Congress will remain under Republican control, and Karl Rove was not willing to let anything get in the way of continuing GOP dominance.

U.S. intransigence may well go beyond electoral considerations. It reflects Washington's unilateralist thrust since George W. Bush came to power in 2001. Like its refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the U.S. refusal to substantially cut its agricultural subsidies reflects a strategy of making others, including traditional allies, bear the costs of necessary adjustments in the global economy. Last Monday's unraveling of the Doha Round, in this view, was the death knell of multilateralism.


The Doha round negotiations collapsed once again at the Mini Ministerial in Geneva on 23rd July 2006. Martin Khor of Third World Network reports from Geneva that when asked of the Doha Round is dead or in intensive care, Mr. Kamal Nath, India's Commerce Minister, said it is somewhere between intensive care in hospital and the crematorium. Peter Mandelson, the EU Trade Commissioner told the press following suspension of WTO negotiations, "we have missed the last exit on the motorway."

The U.S. is being identified by all as responsible for the collapse of talks, by its refusal to reduce its agricultural subsidies. The US and its corporations were the driving force behind two agreements of the Uruguay Round, which have the highest impact on the poor of the Third World. The Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement has increased the cost of seeds and medicine by promoting monopolies. Thousands of Indian farmers have committed suicides due to debts resulting from a new dependence on costly yet unreliable hybrid and Bt cotton sold by Monsanto and its Indian partners. The Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) has destroyed agricultural livelihoods of millions of peasants and food security of the world's poor.

The willingness of the US to allow the Doha Round negotiations to grind to a halt by showing inflexibility in offering to reduce distorting farm subsidies in exchange for increased market access is not because agricultural market access is no longer of interest to the US. The US does not have to give up anything multilaterally because it is getting market access bilaterally, often with "non-agreements" like the US - India Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture, which is promoting GMOs, agricultural imports and the entry of US grant Walmart in Indian retail. Monsanto, Walmart and ADM are on the board of the US India Agriculture Initiative.

Posted by: b real | Jul 31 2006 22:32 utc | 63

Link r'giap link...can't spread the news without a link buddy...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 31 2006 22:33 utc | 64

Fauxreal: Using Debs reasoning, you must be Jewish a Zionist. Welcome to the Tribe. Your check from the Rothschilds may take some time, I'm still waiting for mine. Remember, use the left hand shake with the masons below 32cd degree and take as much guilt from Enlightened Europeans as you can handle.

Malooga: My complaint about Amy Goodman is that access to PRIME radio time and band produces a news show that only appeals to the already convinced. Which brings me back to tactics. Maybe those tactics need some fine-tuning. Back in the day, the left was into mass movements. That might require some deep market research into why alliances with Reverend Sadr or tedious monologs from Professor Chomsky (who has the speaking style of a typical MT professor) would play poorly with the, you know, people of America.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2006 22:47 utc | 65

This argument is drifting dangerously towards the deplorable liberal justifications for "just war."

No it is not. Maybe people are smart enough to understand that abhorrence for theocracy is not apologetics for Bremerism. Maybe the stilted and constricted language of Party Line has done enough harm.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2006 22:55 utc | 66

I am not asking you to ally with Sadr. I am asking you on what principles you do ally. No answer forthcoming yet.

My sense is that people partly agree on principle of peace. Not sure if I'm right about fauxreal there, but my sense was that she got ticked by the process of argument, not that she meant to imply "sometimes you just need to start a war to make women's lives better."

If you are looking for what is popular, some people say that principles such as fairness have a bit to do with it. What's your approach?


Posted by: citizen | Jul 31 2006 23:00 utc | 67

Uncle - link to BBC story, 22:57, 31/07/06 Israel's PM rules out ceasefire:

In late-night discussions, Mr Olmert's security cabinet was reported to have approved plans to widen Israel's ground offensive in Lebanon.
BBC Newsnight may have also covered this, altho' I didn't see it 2nite.

Posted by: Dismal Science | Jul 31 2006 23:12 utc | 68

Citizen: I'm trying to answer your complicated question by pointing at Ned Lamont. He's to my right, but my calculation is that my support of him moves the political center in the right direction. As for your hypothetical, I'm not a purist - in fact, far from it - perhaps not to my credit - so I don't have a cut and dried answer. Since we note the passing of Bookchin, the obvious case is the anarchists in the time of the Leninist rise to power. Some chose to ally themselves with the CP, some chose to oppose the secret police. Neither had happy outcomes. Is it possible that some Iraqis ally themselves with Sadr for good motives? I guess. Are they right? I don't know. But I'm not an Iraqi or a member of a political cult so don't I have the obligation to oppose both the US war and the rise of the worst elements of theocratic gangs? Again, for Americans or Europeans to "support" Sadr looks like both bad moral and bad tactics. I don't see the advantage.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2006 23:19 utc | 69

Citizen2: Comparison of the IDF and Sadr Brigades strikes me as inutile. This is not a sports games where one must cheer for the home team. The babies killed by the IDF are not brought back to life when the Sadr Brigades blind a girl for being at a picnic.

Posted by: citizen k | Jul 31 2006 23:32 utc | 70

I am pleased that my point about violence against women in societies got a response but it would have been considerably better if it hadn't fallen victim to 'theirs is worse/better than ours' argument which wasn't what I was trying to say.

My point was that the Arabic culture towards women is an oft cited reason by liberals for some level of interference in the ME.

Yet that argument could easily have some culture which considers it's women's lives are better/easier interfering in amerika.

Whether or not women are treated badly in Arab society is a question that can only be resolved by Arabs yet 'superior' whiteys or westerners are always taking incidents which may well be sexism, that have occurred in the ME or Islamic world and bringing them into the discussion about western aggression in the ME.

These incidents are frequently taken out of context and amplified by a partial media.

Just last week someone (and this is not a 'go' at the poster because this is far from the only occurrence) posted a link about statements an Islamic preacher had made about the licentious behaviour of UN aid workers.

The story this link took us to was used as proof positive that 'they' were all expletive forgotten and expletive forgotten. Yet when one read the story it seemed that some of the aid workers had indeed been drinking and carousing across the gender divide. But more importantly the authorities in the community completely dismissed any suggestion that this would mean that the preacher's demand to chase them all out of town would be heeded.

In other words it was a non-story about a two-bit preacher in a traumatised community.

Imagine for a minute if someone bothered to troll the pages of the tabloid rags which pose as media outlets in amerika, until they found a piece about a small town two-faced, forked tongued god botherer, claiming that 'nigras who lie with white women should be castrated' and used that as a reason to call 'them' all pillow-biting buggerees.

So that type of tale isn't worth anything and before anyone reaches for their keyboard to say that is what I did above, I will state again that was not my motive.

My motive was to try and impress on us all the simple truth that issues like women's rights and violence against women can only be resolved within a society. There is no point trying to impose it from without.

I thought I had made that point when I raised the issue of the society I currently live in where violence particularly violence against women is getting out of hand.

Statistically it isn't that clear that it has really risen because crystal meth has a lot to do with the current epidemic and it may be just that the violence is occurring more publicly and is no longer confined mainly to the whanau or family unit.

That said the usual assholes there are using the violence to grind their own ax, just as the issue of women in Islamic society is used by imperialist to try and justify their excess.

This means that Maori are being accused or being the chief perpetrators. Sigh nothing really changes when a scapegoat is needed.

Without going all complex on many NZers' inability to confront the truth that this is more likely to be a result of colonialism and subsequent loss of self-esteem than some cultural bent, it is important to note that many of us are trying to deal with the issue on a personal or whanau level rather than waste time arguing with idiots that never listen.

The political party I supported last election (financially, and volunteered for and voted for if anyone wants to know)was the newly formed Maori Party who were successful beyond their wildest dreams. natch most of the votes came from the centre left Labour Party so now their assholes are trying to do what these type of assholes always do.

That is discredit the Maori Party's leadership. One of the co-leaders of the Maori Party is an amazing bloke by the name of Pita Sharples (an increasing number of NZ political parties have co-leaders one male and one female, as well as a pretty even distribution of seats between men and women in Parliament).

Anyway Pita Sharples is a Maori leader who didn't come from the maori aristocracy that colonists like to develop amongst colonised people, The reasons for this another time. This means his life is 'out there'. He is a human and by no means perfect so that when he spoke against violence the centre left did what they do. They dug up some sordid piece of Dr Sharples' past.

His response is here.

I point this out only to illustrate the importance of acknowledging this stuff and trying to deal with it in our own community rather than point the finger elsewhere.

My sister and I have been working with Tangata Whenua in the area where we live who have inter generational violence going back it seems like forever.

The area I currently live in was one of the first settled in NZ, it was one of the first whaling communities/stations.

Now I've been trying to interest an academic in doing a study of the rate of violence and incest in those areas first settled by whalers because it certainly seems anecdotaly that whanau in those areas have a higher than average incidence.

the point of such a study would not be to blame others (in this case the whalers/fishers who had a reputation for raping anything and everything) but to try and lift some of the weight of guilt responsibility off the shoulder of the whanau that have borne this horror for so long. If they can get a grip on the notion that whilst it will be only by dint of their effort they break the cycle yet it wasn't because they were evil or corrupt that this was visited upon them, it will hopefully make their own job seem more achievable.

This stuff takes generations to get rid of just as it took generations to acquire and have no fear, given the opportunity society will throw money at it for a short while, then when the next really bad incident happens they will have a whole new scapegoat, us.

So as much as is possible we are trying to work 'under the radar'.

And Giap, you are correct about anger at the moment. I for one, make no apology for being blunt at the moment. When I'm home doing the basics it seems the whole world has compressed into a tale of wanton murder in ME. Something I am completely powerless to effect in any way from here. So I am short with anyone who seems to justify or excuse any part of it.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 31 2006 23:36 utc | 71

The collective punishment continues: (UN report on Gaza, 18 July)

The Palestinian death toll now stands at 100 (including 30 children) since the IDF launched military operations inside the Gaza Strip on 28 June. The number of Palestinians injured has climbed to 300. ...

The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in the Gaza Strip due to shortages of electricity and water, caused by the 28 June bombing by the IAF of the Gazan power plant. Electricity supply to households and institutions remains severely depleted. Gazans are receiving on average, 6–8 hours of electricity per day and for most families living in urban areas 2–3 hours of water per day.

Posted by: Dismal Science | Jul 31 2006 23:42 utc | 72

& news such as dismal science brings just tears my heart out because that terror against the palestinians can only exist because people want to forget, to forget & never remember

so if fury is a means to make people remember or at least make us ashamed of forgetting then it is a good & healthy thing

if this site is just a means of remembering & remembering & remebering it is doing the best of work - if it aids or leads us in our actions then it is a sacred thing

& i feel that is possible
& i feel we're old enough to manage our fistfights & lead them to clarity

the political question, that fine political question that is being asked by both citizen & malooga is -

who is creating the chaos
who is benefiting from that chaos

the work here forces us through that forest

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 31 2006 23:54 utc | 73

through the forests and through the walls

Posted by: Dismal Science | Aug 1 2006 0:04 utc | 74

another wall nearer to home

Posted by: Dismal Science | Aug 1 2006 0:07 utc | 75

more (thumbnails are a bit slow to load)

Posted by: Dismal Science | Aug 1 2006 0:25 utc | 76


I liked it.

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Aug 1 2006 0:37 utc | 77

Liked #76 better.

Take Care Dismal.

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Aug 1 2006 1:02 utc | 78

Back before this regime, I was supporting homegrown Afghani women's rights organizations. Lonely position. This was before the Taliban blew up the statues and after the Unical deal fell thru.

After 9/11, I, like many US feminists, was all for war on the Taliban. In hindsight, I should have seen the Afghan campaign for what it was: another cynical ploy to hide a bad motive [Iraq war profit/oil profit/squeezing Iran] under better sounding ones [freedom for Afghani women/justice for 9/11] that they had no intention of fulfilling.

Lesson learned, [over and over]: if your government is campaigning to take away human /women's rights here at home, don't believe them when they claim to be expanding human /women's rights overseas. Like every other good motive they have claimed, it is another outright lie.

Posted by: gylangirl | Aug 1 2006 1:06 utc | 79

do not go gently into the night, comrade fidel

rest for a little, you are exemplary man like nelson mandela who have shown what is possible even in dark times

Posted by: r'giap | Aug 1 2006 2:01 utc | 80

Heres on take on why the U.S. and Israel keep taking out> that same old hammer to fight a 4th generation war.

Posted by: anna missed | Aug 1 2006 2:29 utc | 81

what #76 linked to

Posted by: anna missed | Aug 1 2006 2:37 utc | 82

i don't know about fidel, but just looking & listening to that one man idf fan club, anderson coooper is enough to give me a sharp intestinal crisis & listeniong to that israeli goon from the u n now suggesting that the hezbollah held the children hostage in qama just so a smart bom could hit them

fuck me dead
there isn't enough fluid in my body to expel the hatred i have of them

Posted by: r'giap | Aug 1 2006 2:57 utc | 83

@ r'giap the only way I know to get rid of the toxins my body manufactures when I think about that stuff is to go and do something.

I'm feeling quite a lot better now cause since the last time I was here I took a big mob of copies of the latest piece of disney/pixel/hollywood crap out to some of the kids my sister has been working with. I had to do something and while I can rationalise that these movies are exploitative pieces of consumerist garbage, of course that means nothing to a kid who just wants to know what the other kids in the playground are on about.

The best bit is the movie hasn't been released here yet so for a short while those kids will have 'one over' the kids whose parents can afford to take them to every movie, buy every dvd/game/playstation 57 console/ sneakers or whatever piece of consumerist crap is current.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 1 2006 3:17 utc | 84


In hospital, one should not exert oneself too much in recreational activities.

Take care of the diabetes, RG.

I would like to simply link to one of Dismal Science's links, in case anyone missed it:


Posted by: Ms. Manners | Aug 1 2006 3:22 utc | 85

Like Micky Mouse do you DEBS?

Need to read all the way thru to get a clue!

Posted by: Ms. Manners | Aug 1 2006 3:29 utc | 86

I wish anybody hospitalized well.
But Fidel... exemplary? Mandela?

The dispelling of political illusions is painful. At least RG can count his blessings there.

Posted by: gylangirl | Aug 1 2006 4:25 utc | 87

As I said earlier I cannot recommend a read of Lawrence Durrells Alexandria Quartet too highly if you want to try and get a handle on the complexities of the Middle Eastern inter relationship between jews, xtians, and muslims before the creation of Israel.

It has some wonderful Arabic poetry and evokes the mood of sufis and cabbala (non- madonna the singer cabbala natch) really well.

One of the protagonists that is a 'native' Egyptian is a Coptic xtian and it seems at one stage that the role of Islamic Alexandrians is confined to that of whore or cab driver, but this is not the case however colonialism would like that to be so.

The page of Amazon reviews from the link takes you to re3ader reviews leading off with the obligatory carper who asserts that Durrell attempts to imitate Marcel Proust and fails badly.

For me who doesn't really pay heed to literary criticism (which esp with readers reviews is usually more informative about the critic than the work they are considering) I go along with those who point out how much the books meant to them at the time in their lives when they read them (a really cold winter in a damp basement squat in London. It had been the hottest summer on record. We had been following the rise and immediate fall of punk rock. it was the nadir of english post colonial, post war society, Harold Wilson had resigned when it became increasingly apparent that if socialism was meant to be state owned monopolies then socialism was an abject failure. Anyway I was in England for this miserable winter, holed up with one of the most stunningly beautiful, in mind and body, women, it has been my privilege to know. We raced through the books swapping between them arguing and laughing about whether the problem lay with oafish and naive men or oppressed and deceitful women. The novels are all written about events in the same 'time space continuum'. This meant that as we had the books in 4 separate volumes it really didn't matter too much about the order we read them in.)

All of that aside, looking back now the books appear to me to be whether witting or unwitting Durrell's take on Islam v judaism v zionism v Copt xtianity v European xtianity.

V for versus is the wrong symbol because the stories derive as much drama from describing how the people get along as the do relating how they compete.

If you have read them already Slothrop, may I suggest a reread this time paying more attention to the cultural and religious inter actions than the sexual or romantic sub plots.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 1 2006 4:29 utc | 88

ah, Ms. Manners, everything calculated to cause maximum despair. lovely nightmares you must suppress at night!

you take care too.

Posted by: citizen | Aug 1 2006 4:29 utc | 89

This latest incarnation of the "two-Oh-five* is displaying increasingly puerile attention seeking behaviour.

*registered insult patent pending

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 1 2006 4:39 utc | 90

Again, for Americans or Europeans to "support" Sadr looks like both bad moral and bad tactics. I don't see the advantage.

Entirely reasonable. I would agree that none of acts politically from pure principle, and there is not much practically that we can do with Sadr even if we did want to support him. On the other hand, it is spiritually disabling for people to get too tactical about whom they support, and end up feeling hypocritical and heartless. People politics cannot be Machiavellian, that is politics for the Prince.

So, to help us discover what sort of a heart we think there might be for a heartless world, I thought we could get together and think about ways to think/act/write consistently about supporting people who aim to lessen the chaos. If it turns out to be reasonable to consider Sadr as one such person, then one might conceivably support him. But I would agree with you that I can't find much likelihood of most of us ever having to decide whether or not to support him and his movement. There are many things much closer to home we need to do. However, it is a very real question these days whether or not Israel (or the IDF if we want to narrow) is making people too nauseated to continue their support.

And here I wonder if your practical commitments might veer away from a principled stand against chaos-making, and veer towards sheer partisanship towards things with the label "Israeli" on them. Forgive me for the brusque approach here, but I imagine the conversation would improve if you would tell us if Israel is a limit case for you.

in cameraderie,

Posted by: citizen | Aug 1 2006 4:50 utc | 91


Do I support the existence of Israel ? Yes. In fact, one of the many annoying things about the "abolish Israel" crowd aside frm their special pleading morality is their reluctance to even attempt to describe a plausible path to such a condition. Given millions of people with nowhere to go and an army, I can't imagine that Israel will go anywhere without a massive catastrophe that will involve much of the ME at the least. Do I support Israel's policy of terror state in the territories, bomb happy idiot in Lebanon, and general dirty job specialist for the US elsewehere, or slide towards theocracy internally - no. In fact, this is a case where one has to see how "Israel" is not a unitary entity but a mixture of interests and powers. There is an article in the NYT today about how the US war on the axis of evil and the Israeli war on common sense has nearly destroyed the reform movement in Iran. My analysis is that precisely the same mechanism has conspired to put the worst elements of Israeli society in power in Israel. The strategy of the right is always to invoke fear and tribal solidarity against the external threat. An opponent who is stupid enough or mal-intentioned enough or just a false front - and that can aid that strategy is invaluable - as Bush's handlers know from the advantages of Al Queda and their conveniently well timed threats. Israel's "enemies" have so consistently acted to prop up the far right as to make the current tragic situation nearly inevitable.

Posted by: citizen k | Aug 1 2006 14:32 utc | 92


it is not with joy that i watch the hoodlums of miami & their gangster masters gloat over the death of fidel which will not come

cuba is far from perfect but it is a far cry from the crime infested miami & the completely corrupt state of florida

for the entire left of latin america - fidel rests a beacon

it is fashionable too in france to criticise fidel for the lack of freedom of press, intellectuals, homosexuals but even on the most base comparative level he is far ahead of the so called democracies
who pervert the use of justice, who in essence have no real freedom of press, whose own neglect of intellectuals & whose absence of equality of opportunity, mark everbody

at least he exports doctors & not guns - he offers medical schools even for americans who could otherwise not afford to do so

& do not exhaust me about the stories of ochoa etc - i know them well - this is not a perfect world but the least that can be said that la havane or santa maria or any other town are not an abbatoirs like iraq or afghanistan

Posted by: r'giap | Aug 1 2006 14:59 utc | 93 has been a consistent defender of Fidel's regime, and has methodically debunked most of the myths that we have been fed as false. Of course, Havana is the single most ecologically sustainable city on the planet, growing most of its food needs organically with its environs.

Needless to say idiots who throw GDP around as an indicator of anything but how utterly wastful and profligate we in the west are, are just that -- idiots. People have shelter, people have food, people have medical care. They are largely free from the gnawing insecurity of being one accident away from losing everything, and the resulting me-firstism, numbness, and anomie that we US'ans face every single day of our lives.

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 1 2006 15:12 utc | 94


always wanted to read durell.

I bet,2933,206374,00.html>this fellow will write a fine iraq war novel one day. maybe a trilogy whose central plot is the struggles of an ex marine to build a walmart in tikrit.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 1 2006 15:21 utc | 95

thank you malooga

just watching the commentators salivate at the thought of fidels death makes me ill

they know nothing

we have become reduced men

his like will perhaps never come again

people who place the service of others instead of their own self interest

i know cuba & cubans well & i know they have lived in difficulty & a great deal of that difficulty is caused by the blocus & even the most reasonable of scholars accept that

but there is a new day in latin america & many of the new cadre of latin america have learned from the lessons of fidel as well as his mistakes

i hope against hope that those hoodlums & gangsters in miami will not be able to return cuba to the whorehouse/casino it once was

Posted by: r'giap | Aug 1 2006 16:34 utc | 96


I am not so dismissive of human rights that I use the violations of one system to justify/excuse the violations of another. Where dissent and true democracy are concerned, none are "exemplary". None.

Until dissent is no longer brutally crushed; and until all people are free from violence-backed tyrants, there exist two false choices: Man exploiting man in a disguised dictatorship or... just the reverse in an overt one. Choose your fruitcake.

Posted by: gylangirl | Aug 1 2006 16:58 utc | 97

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