Friday, July 28, 2006

Ricey Playpen Victory in Bushbaby Style

Way to go, Cundi! That'll show'em, right? "The new Middle East" and its little old "birth pangs"! Don't do anything at all to stop the bombing of nearly all of Lebanon, a majority of whose population WAS NOT in favor of Hezbollah --- at least before what has now been going on for 18 days!
This is what you've managed to achieve!
Tide of Arab Opinion Turns to Support for Hezbollah
The New York Times
Published: July 28, 2006

DAMASCUS, Syria, July 27 — At the onset of the Lebanese crisis, Arab governments, starting with Saudi Arabia, slammed Hezbollah for recklessly provoking a war, providing what the United States and Israel took as a wink and a nod to continue the fight.
Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against the vaunted Israeli military for more than two weeks, the tide of public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the organization, transforming the Shiite group’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, into a folk hero and forcing a change in official statements.
The Saudi royal family and King Abdullah II of Jordan, who were initially more worried about the rising power of Shiite Iran, Hezbollah’s main sponsor, are scrambling to distance themselves from Washington.
An outpouring of newspaper columns, cartoons, blogs and public poetry readings have showered praise on Hezbollah while attacking the United States and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for trumpeting American plans for a “new Middle East” that they say has led only to violence and repression.
Even Al Qaeda, run by violent Sunni Muslim extremists normally hostile to all Shiites, has gotten into the act, with its deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, releasing a taped message saying that through its fighting in Iraq, his organization was also trying to liberate Palestine.
Mouin Rabbani, a senior Middle East analyst in Amman, Jordan, with the International Crisis Group, said, “The Arab-Israeli conflict remains the most potent issue in this part of the world.”
Distinctive changes in tone are audible throughout the Sunni world. This week, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt emphasized his attempts to arrange a cease-fire to protect all sects in Lebanon, while the Jordanian king announced that his country was dispatching medical teams “for the victims of Israeli aggression.” Both countries have peace treaties with Israel.
The Saudi royal court has issued a dire warning that its 2002 peace plan — offering Israel full recognition by all Arab states in exchange for returning to the borders that predated the 1967 Arab-Israeli war — could well perish.
“If the peace option is rejected due to the Israeli arrogance,” it said, “then only the war option remains, and no one knows the repercussions befalling the region, including wars and conflict that will spare no one, including those whose military power is now tempting them to play with fire.”
The Saudis were putting the West on notice that they would not exert pressure on anyone in the Arab world until Washington did something to halt the destruction of Lebanon, Saudi commentators said.
American officials say that while the Arab leaders need to take a harder line publicly for domestic political reasons, what matters more is what they tell the United States in private, which the Americans still see as a wink and a nod.
There are evident concerns among Arab governments that a victory for Hezbollah — and it has already achieved something of a victory by holding out this long — would further nourish the Islamist tide engulfing the region and challenge their authority. Hence their first priority is to cool simmering public opinion.
But perhaps not since President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt made his emotional outpourings about Arab unity in the 1960’s, before the Arab defeat in the 1967 war, has the public been so electrified by a confrontation with Israel, played out repeatedly on satellite television stations with horrific images from Lebanon of wounded children and distraught women fleeing their homes.
Egypt’s opposition press has had a field day comparing Sheik Nasrallah to Nasser, while demonstrators waved pictures of both.
An editorial in the weekly Al Dustur by Ibrahim Issa, who faces a lengthy jail sentence for his previous criticism of President Mubarak, compared current Arab leaders to the medieval princes who let the Crusaders chip away at Muslim lands until they controlled them all.
After attending an intellectual rally in Cairo for Lebanon, the Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm wrote a column describing how he had watched a companion buy 20 posters of Sheik Nasrallah.
“People are praying for him as they walk in the street, because we were made to feel oppressed, weak and handicapped,” Mr. Negm said in an interview. “I asked the man who sweeps the street under my building what he thought, and he said: ‘Uncle Ahmed, he has awakened the dead man inside me! May God make him triumphant!’ ”
In Lebanon, Rasha Salti, a freelance writer, summarized the sense that Sheik Nasrallah differed from other Arab leaders.
“Since the war broke out, Hassan Nasrallah has displayed a persona, and public behavior also, to the exact opposite of Arab heads of states,” she wrote in an e-mail message posted on many blogs.
In comparison, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s brief visit to the region sparked widespread criticism of her cold demeanor and her choice of words, particularly a statement that the bloodshed represented the birth pangs of a “new Middle East.” That catchphrase was much used by Shimon Peres, the veteran Israeli leader who was a principal negotiator of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which ultimately failed to lead to the Palestinian state they envisaged.
A cartoon by Emad Hajjaj in Jordan labeled “The New Middle East” showed an Israeli tank sitting on a broken apartment house in the shape of the Arab world.
Fawaz al-Trabalsi, a columnist in the Lebanese daily As Safir, suggested that the real new thing in the Middle East was the ability of one group to challenge Israeli militarily.
Perhaps nothing underscored Hezbollah’s rising stock more than the sudden appearance of a tape from the Qaeda leadership attempting to grab some of the limelight.
Al Jazeera satellite television broadcast a tape from Mr. Zawahri (za-WAH-ri). Large panels behind him showed a picture of the exploding World Trade Center as well as portraits of two Egyptian Qaeda members, Muhammad Atef, a Qaeda commander who was killed by an American airstrike in Afghanistan, and Mohamed Atta, the lead hijacker on Sept. 11, 2001. He described the two as fighters for the Palestinians.
Mr. Zawahri tried to argue that the fight against American forces in Iraq paralleled what Hezbollah was doing, though he did not mention the organization by name.
“It is an advantage that Iraq is near Palestine,” he said. “Muslims should support its holy warriors until an Islamic emirate dedicated to jihad is established there, which could then transfer the jihad to the borders of Palestine.”
Mr. Zawahri also adopted some of the language of Hezbollah and Shiite Muslims in general. That was rather ironic, since previously in Iraq, Al Qaeda has labeled Shiites Muslim as infidels and claimed responsibility for some of the bloodier assaults on Shiite neighborhoods there.
But by taking on Israel, Hezbollah had instantly eclipsed Al Qaeda, analysts said. “Everyone will be asking, ‘Where is Al Qaeda now?’ ” said Adel al-Toraifi, a Saudi columnist and expert on Sunni extremists.
Mr. Rabbani of the International Crisis Group said Hezbollah’s ability to withstand the Israeli assault and to continue to lob missiles well into Israel exposed the weaknesses of Arab governments with far greater resources than Hezbollah.
“Public opinion says that if they are getting more on the battlefield than you are at the negotiating table, and you have so many more means at your disposal, then what the hell are you doing?” Mr. Rabbani said. “In comparison with the small embattled guerrilla movement, the Arab states seem to be standing idly by twiddling their thumbs.”
Mona el-Naggar contributed reporting from Cairo for this article, and Suha Maayeh from Amman, Jordan.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Six Questions on the Bush Administration and the Middle East Crisis for Wayne White (

Six Questions on the Bush Administration and the Middle East Crisis for Wayne White (
"Wayne White, now an Adjunct Scholar with Washington's Middle East Institute, was Deputy Director of the State Department's Office of Middle East and South Asia Analysis until March 2005. On Saturday, he replied to a series of questions about the situation in Lebanon and the Bush Administration's response. By Ken Silverstein. "

Christopher Street Day in Berlin

From Süddeutsche Zeitung--
Christopher Street Day in Berlin
Drag-Queens, Beats und Politik
450.000 Menschen haben sich diese Show nicht entgehenlassen: Neben aufregenden Kostümen waren aber auch politische Themen von Belang.
Link to the full article:
Christopher Street Day in Berlin Drag-Queens, Beats und Politik - Panorama -

And the following is the message of Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit for the day:
Berlin - liberal und tolerant
Von Klaus Wowereit, Regierender Bürgermeister, am 22.7.2006 im Berliner Kurier
Von Sommerloch kann in diesem Jahr keine Rede sein: Nach Fußball-WM und Loveparade folgt heute der Christopher Street Day. Hunderttausende Lesben und Schwule werden zur Siegessäule ziehen. Und viele Menschen mehr stehen am Straßenrand und feiern mit.
1979 war daran noch nicht zu denken: Beim ersten Berliner CSD kam nur eine kleine Schar von Teilnehmern. Einige zogen sogar noch vermummt über den Kurfürstendamm. Die Teilnahme am CSD war damals noch eine richtige Mutprobe.
Seitdem hat sich eine ganze Menge bewegt. Das friedliche Miteinander unterschiedlicher Kulturen, Religionen und Lebensweisen ist zu einem Markenzeichen unserer Stadt geworden. Und der CSD hat sich zu einem viel beachteten Großereignis entwickelt.
Wir sollten dabei aber nicht vergessen: Auch heute noch gibt es Skepsis und Vorbehalte gegenüber Schwulen und Lesben. Toleranz hat sich leider noch nicht überall durchgesetzt. Für unser Zusammenleben ist es jedoch wichtig, dass wir einander offen und mit Respekt begegnen.
Den meisten Berlinern ist das auch bewusst. Berlin gilt heute als liberale und tolerante Metropole. Darauf können wir stolz sein. Dieses Images haben wir auch Veranstaltungen wie dem CSD zu verdanken.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Too High a Price

Too High a Price
A very good editorial from "The Nation" pointing out who the beneficiaries of the current war actions in Lebanon are: not, as its leaders and much of its population may hope, Israel itself by such an impressive use of force, but indeed Hezbollah and Hamas with their dramatically inferior military force and appeal to all those bombed in the current actions in Lebanon.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Weep for all where bombs explode and rockets hit ! Weep for populations victimized by so-called leaders whose only answers are weapons and death ! Weep for humanity as the world teeters ever further away from all things human and ever nearer the technologized ubiquity of death !

Sunday, July 16, 2006

On Iran, Giving Futility Its Chance

On Iran, Giving Futility Its Chance
Link to a truly frightening possible plan in what's left of the bushbaby's head for what's left of the Middle East!

The Observer | Focus | Israel's response risks its security

Israel's response risks its security
by Henry Siegman
Sunday July 16, 2006
© The Observer
In Lebanon as in Gaza, it is not Israel's right to protect its civilian population from terrorist aggression that is at issue. It is the way Israel goes about exercising that right.
Despite bitter lessons from the past, Israel's political and military leaders remain addicted to the notion that, whatever they have a right to do, they have a right to overdo, to the point where they lose what international support they had when they began their retaliatory measures.
Israel's response to the terrorist assault in Gaza and the outrageous and unprovoked Hizbollah assault across its northern border in Lebanon, far from providing protection to its citizens, may well further undermine their security by destabilising the wider region.
On the surface, the situations in Gaza and in Lebanon may seem similar, but there are important differences. No matter how one judges the rights and wrongs of the recent Hamas assaults and Israeli reprisals, in Gaza the fundamental casus belli is Israel's occupation that has now lasted for nearly 40 years. Israel's leaders continue to suffer from the delusion they can defeat violent Palestinian resistance to that occupation without offering the Palestinians a credible, non-violent political path to statehood, promised in various international agreements.
Following the precedent set by Ariel Sharon with his unilateral disengagement from Gaza, his successor as Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, believes that if Israel dodges the bullet of a bilateral peace negotiation with the Palestinians - something it has successfully done so far by claiming 'there is no Palestinian partner for peace' - it will be able to create unilaterally a rump Palestinian state that will leave in Israeli hands large chunks of Palestinian territory and make a mockery of Palestinian national aspirations.
Despite the massive imbalance of forces, the Palestinians will never abide such an outcome. In 1988 and in 1993, as part of the Oslo agreement, they recognised Israel's legitimacy in 78 per cent of what used to be the Palestine mandate, leaving themselves with 22 per cent, less than half the territory assigned to them by the United Nations in 1947. No Palestinian leader, now or in the future, will agree to further Israeli land grabs to accommodate settlements established in violation of international agreements and international law, whose illegality even the utterly one-sided Bush administration has had to concede. On this territorial issue, as on that of Israel's efforts to deny Palestinians the right to site the capital of their prospective state in East Jerusalem, there is no daylight between any of the Palestinian parties. President Mahmoud Abbas would be no less unyielding on these issues in a negotiation with Israel than would Hamas.
On the other side of the Israeli-Palestinian divide, if Hamas wishes to enable the international community, and particularly European countries, to end sanctions that have so brutally punished the Palestinians, it must at least be prepared to say that, even if it is now unwilling to pronounce on Israel's legitimacy - given Israel's continued violation of previous agreements and its ongoing theft of Palestinian land for its settlements - the elimination of the state of Israel is not Hamas's goal. Rather its goal is a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.
Hamas must understand that Palestinian violence to punish Israelis is self-defeating. The new Hamas regime will achieve nothing if it is not prepared to offer Israel a non-violent political path to security within Israel's pre-1967 borders. Hamas cannot have it both ways: it cannot demand recognition by the international community as the legitimate government of the Palestinian Authority if it is not willing to enforce law and order. It must be willing to suppress the various militias and end their illegal activities. Otherwise, its proposals for a hudna [truce] with Israel remain meaningless.
Similarly, the Lebanese government cannot allow the uninhibited operation of Hizbollah's militia and its freedom to violate international borders at will and still maintain its own legitimacy. That said, Israel will quickly lose what international support it had for opposing Hizbollah's terrorism if it continues its assaults in Lebanon without regard to the consequences not only for Lebanon and for the wider region, but for its own long-term security as well.
Indeed, the point of Hizbollah's aggression is the expectation that Israel would act in ways that will only deepen its isolation. Nothing is likely to achieve the goal of Israel's enemies more effectively than disproportionate measures that even its friends cannot support.
Hizbollah's naked aggression against Israel has nothing to do with the Palestinian cause. The two are linked only in the following sense: Hizbollah would not have attacked Israel if it could not have invoked Israel's assaults on Gaza's civilian population as its pretext. As long as Israel's policies allow this conflict to fester, it remains vulnerable to the depredations of radical groups that will exploit the Palestinian tragedy for their own ends.
· Henry Siegman is a Senior Fellow on the Middle East at the Council on Foreign Relations, a visiting professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and former head of the American Jewish Congress. These views are his own.
Link to the original publication.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Playpen finally to do what it said it would never do and now claims it was always doing!

My Way News - U.S. Will Give Detainees Geneva Rights
This report is welcome news, that the bushbaby and his playmates are at least willing to abide by the law after the Supreme Court finally rubs their noses in the souring spilled milk of abuse slattered all over them.
Now Congress should hold up its end and demand truly judicial proceedings for those so long detained without charges or trial.
One might suggest the playpen join the bushbaby in a mandatory reading of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights every morning instead of dreaming up problems about burning flags or "praying" for guidance from the "lord", which a bushbaby on a mission after finally getting on the wagon after so many years of staggering around only thinks is another rubber stamp.
You have to force some people to do the right thing!

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Put away the flags | The Progressive

Put away the flags The Progressive
A healthy perspective - and a lesson all countries should learn!

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Supreme Court upholds the democratic system !

Hooray: the Supreme Court blocked war crimes trials for Guantanamo detainees,
chastizing the bushbaby and his anti-terror policies, ruling that the playpen idea of trying Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violates U.S. and international law.

Even after packing the court, the bushbaby has fortunately not gotten it under his control.
Dictatorship is somewhat averted, hopefully more such rulings will follow.