Saturday, August 9, 2014

How Bush and Obama Botched Iraq

This is one of the best and most revealing Frontline pieces ever constructed.  Key Generals, Diplomats, reporters, etc. give very frank accounts of the fiasco, and the accompanying film segments are outstanding.  The story shows not only the hubris of politicians, but also their utter ignorance.  If they aren't ignorant, then a very good case is made for the purposeful creation of perpetual war by both Republicans and Democrats. Given recent developments in Iraq and the U.S. response, this really is a MUST-SEE.

Goooood morning, Iraaaaaq.

The Arms manufacturers must be very pleased.  I just hope they haven't exported their factories to Mexico or Indonesia or somewhere else.  Unemployment here is higher than the Fed Gov't purports it to be.  :)

Be Well

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Three Liars: Obama, Netanyahu, and Susan Rice

Yes, it's a harsh title, I know.  Perhaps I'm wrong.  If they aren't lying, then they're extremely uninformed, ignorant, and/or naive.  You decide.  I'm taking a break from painting, so this piece will be somewhat short.  In my opinion, the three characters mentioned in the title above perfectly illustrate how Oligarchs (or their puppets) sometimes operate.  Consider the following points.

1.  The tunnels---  Hamas has built tunnels into Egypt as well as Israel.  After the current dictator of Egypt took part in a military coup that overthrew a democratically elected gov't, he had the Egyptian ends of the Hamas tunnels SEALED.  Israel could have done the same thing with the ends of the tunnels crossing their borders.  The Israelis claimed that one of the reasons they bombed and invaded Gaza (killing hundreds of civilians and destroying thousands of homes) was to destroy the tunnels.  They could have been permanently sealed from the Israeli side.  This was expressed by Norman Finkelstein on Democracy Now.  Rarely reported in the Corporate Media is why there were tunnels into Egypt.  It was because Gaza is under blockade... not just weapons are restricted, but all kinds of civilian goods as well.  Those tunnels allowed the Palestinians to obtain much needed civilian goods and supplies.  The Israelis allow only minimal amounts to be imported into Gaza.  Gazans are not permitted to be a free people; they basically are confined to an area that is six times more densely populated than Manhattan.

2.  Obama and the Congress have given foreign aid to Egypt that amounts to over a billion dollars.  The sole reason for that appears to be because the Egyptian dictatorship does not support Hamas.  [Let's not forget that decades ago, the Israeli Irgun was a terrorist organization as well, operating in the very same land where Hamas dwells.]

3.  The rockets---  First of all, the Hamas "rockets" hardly can be called rockets at all.  That term implies a degree of sophistication; nevertheless, they are explosive projectiles of some sort.  The author, Norman Finkelstein, claims they amount to something a few degrees above fireworks.  In any case, they certainly are dangerous... so, that begs the question, why are they being fired into Israel?  The Corporate Media rarely go into that, and if so, just barely.  I have to be brief, too... Hamas is trying to get Israel to end the almost eight-year blockade of Gaza.  In addition, I suspect that Palestinians are still pissed off that for more than 65 years, the Israelis have been trying to drive them off their land.  Palestinians refused to accept the U.N. partition of their land (Palestine) in 1948 into two States (Israel and Palestine) because they had been living on that land in a majority for hundreds of years.  They considered all of it their land.  The Israelis, by means of terrorism starting in 1946, finally forced the British to go to the U.N. for some sort of solution to the "Palestinian problem".  The Israelis "reclaiming" land on which their ancestors lived a couple of thousand years ago is akin to me & my "clan" returning to Ireland and "reclaiming" some place where my ancestors lived a couple of thousand years ago.  Perhaps the American Indians/Native Americans here in the U.S. should reclaim their land.  [You see how the whole idea breaks down in modern times.]

4.  The Iron Dome---  Theodore Postol, an M.I.T. Professor, a physicist, and expert on missiles, rockets, and military defense systems, stated on Democracy Now that the Iron Dome is at most perhaps 5% effective.  He explained his claim quite well, but I don't have the time to detail it.  He also said that the lack of Israeli death and injury from Hamas attacks is not due to the Iron Dome, but rather to the advanced Israeli early warning system and the fact that Israeli homes, by law, must have an artillery-shell-proof shelter within.  In addition, of course, there are many public shelters throughout Israeli towns and cities.
Meanwhile, Obama and our Congress have authorized $225 million MORE to bolster the almighty Iron Dome...which, according to a top expert, is 5% effective.  Who benefits?  Raytheon Corporation, that's who.  Plus, National Security Advisor Susan Rice states publicly what a great defense system is the Iron Dome.

5.  The lobbyist-funded love affair between the U.S. Gov't and the Israeli Gov't---
Norman Finkelstein, on Democracy Now, also pointed out that Obama started out touting the righteousness of the Israeli invasion of Gaza.  Then after the Israelis essentially murdered so many civilian bystanders and even U.N. personnel in schools and hospitals by deliberate targeting of same, he had to change his tune.  According to Finkelstein, Netanyahu withdrew his troops because Obama said publicly that the Israeli actions were deplorable and indefensible.  The author said that this is the beginning of the end of the love affair between the two Gov'ts.

6.  Even IF Hamas was using civilians to shield military activities, a HUMANE Gov't does not go ahead anyway and target civilian homes, schools, and hospitals...thus killing hundreds of innocent men, women, and CHILDREN.  CHILDREN!  As to the Israeli military warning civilians that their homes were about to be bombed, the question arises, to where should they run?  U.N. shelters were also bombed... killing refugees, as well as U.N. workers.  That is insanity; there is no justification for it.  These are war crimes.

Enough of the lies from the Establishment... enough of only part of the history of Israel and Palestine.  Israel is not the Little Miss Goodie Two Shoes portrayed by Obama (until very recently), Netanyahu, Susan Rice, and the Corporate Media.  There are two sides to every story of conflict.

Partly just my opinion.

Be Well